Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, it would have been pretty hard not to know about the Apple iPad and its launch last weekend. With its 9.7-inch screen and 1.5 pound weight, it clearly doesn't fit into the scope of devices covered by Pocketables but if this latest rumor proves to be true, that could change by early next year.
An intriguing article by DigiTimes reports that Apple may be working on a smaller version of the iPad with a 5- to 7-inch touch screen that could hit the market in the first quarter of 2011. Based on information from Apple's component suppliers, the smaller iPad will be a highly portable device aimed at consumers who mainly use the device for reading and content consumption rather than text input and content creation. As for price, the sources state that the new tablet would be priced below $400.
Back in January, Jenn wrote about how she wished the iPad was smaller. It now looks like this may come to fruition and I can definitely see a potential market for a smaller iPad. Some people have pointed out that the iPhone already fills this role, which is true to a certain extent. But for use as a MID rather than a phone, a larger screen definitely makes a big difference to the experience. The key is for Apple to differentiate its iPhone/iPad product line-up sufficiently to prevent overlap.
What are your thoughts on a smaller iPad? Would a more portable-sized product appeal to you more than the existing iPad?[best tablet review]