The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is in the testing phases for a smaller screen size iPad – something in the range of 8inches. The information has come from un-named component suppliers, which have said that Apple’s smaller tablet will have a lower resolution screen similar to the iPad 2.
The move comes as Apple is preparing to announce a new iPad in early March, according to people familiar with the matter. That device is expected to have a higher resolution screen than the iPad 2 with a similar screen size, according to people familiar with the matter. A version will run on fourth-generation wireless networks from Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.
The smaller form factor iPad could be Apple’s move to secure marketshare, in the wake of Amazon’s Kindle Fire (7-inch), which has been successful even though Amazon is essentially taking a loss on ever Fire sold. Regardless of Amazon’s business philosophy, they have exposed a market for smaller form factor tablets and Apple is keen on getting in.
Samsung’s 5.3-inch Galaxy Note and Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire have been selling well. It means consumers want a tablet that is smaller than the existing 9.7-inch iPad,” said Diana Wu, an analyst at Capital Securities in Taipei. “IPad’s features are good enough but pricing would be an important factor in the mass market, especially in big emerging markets like China and India.
Currently, Apple holds 61.5% of the tablet marketshare and introducing multiple screen sizes, as they did with the iPod, could solidify their dominance in the tablet market. Personally, this seems like a no-brainer and any cannibalization that might happen to the 9.7inch iPad will most likely be offset by taking marketshare away from Samsung or Amazon.
Source: Wall Street Journal