Although Android tablets still haven’t truly set the world on fire in anywhere near the numbers that the iPad has, the 7-inch and similarly sized Android tablets that I’ve both seen and owned have always intrigued me, although I’ve always preferred the iOS experience to that of Android.
That said, the 7-inch tablets are nicely sized and even inside jacket-pocketable, something that the 7-inch Android tablets I’ve seen are capable of fitting into, although whether any future 7.85-inch iPad is .85-inches too big for said inside-jacket pockets is yet to be seen.
Although rumours of a 7-inch sized iPad have made the rounds ever since the iPad first debuted in 2010, if not before that as well, 2010, 2011 and 2012 thus far have only seen 9.7-inch iPads emerge from the idea labs of Cupertino and the factories of China.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the rumours of a 7-inch iPad from spreading, and in the case of 2012, being more persistent and insistent than ever, with an October time-frame being mooted, along with prices that seem to go anywhere from US $199 to US $299 for the base model, ready to smash those 7-inch Androids and Kindle Fires into presumed oblivion.
There’s also talk that any 7-inch sized iPad will come with a 2048x1536 Retina-class display, while others believe such screen technology will be far too expensive for such a low-cost iPad option, thus relegating the screen resolution to the previous standard of 1024x768.
In addition, the rumourmongers fervently believe that to reach such a pricepoint, Apple will need to release an iPad with the heretofore unthinkably small storage size of 8GB – unthinkable for an iPad, even though the iPod touch starts at this level today, but “thinkably” small enough to hit the blockbuster sales affordability sweet spot.
A smaller screen size means a smaller body, which means a smaller battery, but with a smaller screen, the battery doesn’t need to be as big, so presumably, and certainly hopefully, Apple’s 10 hour battery life for the iPad will be preserved for any iPad mini.
There’s also the suggestion that the iPad mini would eschew a GPS chipset, something that’s certainly believable for any Wi-Fi only model, but unthinkable with any 3G/4G-equipped model, as the GPS chip is supposed to be part of the same chip or chipset that delivers 3G/4G connectivity, so let us hope that the complete lack of GPS is just a silly rumour that definitely proves to be untrue.
However, despite Steve Jobs’ previous statements that 7-inch tablets were dead on arrival, Mr Jobs also once claimed no-one wanted to watch video on a small screen, amongst other statements that turned out to be competitively smart misdirection, so we can only hope that the 7 or 7.85-inch iPad rumours are indeed true, and that 8, 16, 32 and 64GB iPad mini models are on the way for a fabulous Q4 of inconceivably massive iPad iSales, whatever their size – and whatever the delivered screen resolution.
A 7 or 7.85-inch sized iPad? I’ll buy one, and chances are high that you will, too.