A new report from Taiwan indicates that rumors of an iPad mini launching in 2012 may be true. After analyst Brian White (Ticonderoga Securities) said he has heard of such plans at Apple, Taiwan newspapers now say Apple is already pushing to kickstart production with a deal signed for 7.85-inch screens.
Despite everyone knowing Apple’s stance on 7-inch tablets and their limitations, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News reports (via Google Translate) that Cupertino is securing 7.85-inch displays from LG Display and AU Optronics to make a smaller iPad slated for 2012.
The tablet would rival Amazon’s Kindle Fire, an Android-powered tablet computer that rivals the iPad on a price level.
And although Apple has slashed the price of its iPod touch to match that of the Fire, the company may still need to create a product that fills the gap between the small media player and the larger iPad.
That product is believed to be the “iPad mini”, a tablet that Apple plans to launch early next year, according to analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities.
The man issued a note to investors earlier this month saying that Apple wants to gain more traction in emerging markets across the world, and the only way to do that is to offer a reasonable tablet experience at a much lower price. The current iPad sells for $499 in its lowest configuration (16GB WiFi only).
The iPad mini, however, would sell for $199, a sweet-spot for many consumer electronics and even household appliances.
Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the fourth quarter ended September 24, 2011, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Mac maker posted this week a quarterly revenue of $28.27 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share.