According to a report published by Digitimes this morning, Apple will be releasing two iPads with different sizes in 2012. One will likely be the iPad 3 at the end of Q1 (as expected), while a smaller, 7.85-inch iPad supposedly will be launched prior to the 4th quarter of 2012.
Apple is likely to launch a 7.85-inch iPad prior to the fourth quarter of 2012 in addition to a new iPad scheduled to be released at the end of the first quarter, according to sources in the supply chain.
Apple had in the past been said to be reluctant to releasing a smaller iPad, but according to Digitimes’ sources, the increased competition from the likes of the 7″ Kindle Fire and other Android smartphones/tablets helped persuade Apple into developing a more compact iPad.
However, in order to cope with increasing market competition including the 7-inch Kindle Fire from Amazon and the launch of large-size smartphones from handset vendors, Apple has been persuaded into the development of 7.85-inch iPads, the sources indicated.
The same sources claim that Apple will be purchasing 7.85-inch panels from both LG Display and AU Optronics, with production to commence by the end of Q2 of 2012. If true, it’ll be interesting to see how much these 7″ iPads will go for. My guess is that it’ll retail for around $399, the same price range as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus.