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March 14, 2012

Apple's Mini iPad may be in the works, says Samsung official

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

The concept of a mini iPad has been something of a white whale lately. Rumors have circulated that Apple (News - Alert) looks to shrink the size of the iPad and release it alongside a variety of other, smaller tablets. But one new piece of information by an anonymous Samsung (News - Alert) employee has surfaced to support the gossip.

Samsung, who has been both a target and aggressor of lawsuits with Apple for the last two years, is ironically still the primary producer of Retina Displays for the newest version of Apple's popular iPad tablet line. It's not surprising that Samsung knows what it's talking about when it comes to iPad displays, and words from a Samsung employee that indicate they're pursuing seven-inch displays for an iPad carries some weight.

There are, however, other explanations at work: Apple may be making smaller displays for an iPad, but prototypes are never intended for public release. Or perhaps Apple is making a smaller iPad.

One thing that's become apparent over the last couple years is that people are interested in tablets, but not necessarily the prices Apple's asking – especially since Apple wants the equivalent of a small house payment for one. This is evident from the sudden burst of demand for HP TouchPads at the $99 price point back when they were trying to liquidate them, or the success of the Kindle Fire, considered by some to be the only actual competition the iPad has at this point.

So if Apple were to bring out a smaller iPad with all those great iPad features and put it up alongside the Kindle Fire at, say, a $250 price point, they'd likely win much of the market back from Amazon.

Amazon was last reported selling its Kindle Fires at a loss in a bid to get people buying content from their site for their devices.

That's strictly speculative, of course, but it certainly has some support in the face of current market conditions. So the question we're left with is: Will Apple put out a smaller iPad to supplement its current line? It makes sense, but as we've heard this before with no payout in sight, it's easy to doubt the idea. The only way to tell will be to keep a lookout in the near future.

Edited by Braden Becker
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