Apple is currently working with their suppliers to test out a new tablet that has a smaller screen. Apple is looking to broaden their product pipeline amidst intensifying competition. Apple has shown screen designs to suppliers for a new device that would have a screen size of 8 inches.
The smaller device would have a similar screen resolution as the Apple iPad 2. Apple is currently working with LG Display Co. an AU Optronics for their test panels. Apple is expected to announce a new iPad on March 7th.
A smaller iPad would mean that Apple would be able to better compete against Amazon.com’s Kindle and Samsung’s line of tablets. This strategy would also emulate what Apple has done in the past with their iPod line of devices.
Currently the iPad has 61.5% of world-wide tablet shipments in the third quarter, which is down 68.3% in the second quarter. The Amazon.com Kindle Fire has a 7-inch screen and is priced at $199, which is way below the starting price of the iPad being at $499.
A smaller sized iPad would be the opposite of Steve Jobs’ vision in 2010. Jobs was quoted as saying that 9.7 inches is “the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.”