Apple launching smaller 7.85-inch iPad Mini in 2012?

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The word on the streets (in China!),  is that Apple are working on a smaller 7.85-inch iPad mini to join the iPad family alongside the iPad 3 next year.

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An Asian “supply chain source” has told Digitimes about Apple plans to release a smaller iPad as a response to the runaway success of Amazon’s smaller Kindle Fire tablet- which is shaping up as a real threat to the iPad’s market share.

Although there have been rumours of smaller iPads for some time,  Apple previously had no interest in producing them. Former CEO, the late Steve Jobs felt that the displays were too small, stating: “this size is useless unless you include sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size.”  

Cash strapped consumers seem to like the small-form factor Kindle Fire however, and with Smartphone screen size increasing all the time, it looks like Apple, under new CEO Tim Cook will be downsizing after all.

The iPad 3 release is rumoured to taking place in March next year, with the smaller iPad mini following in September.

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