updated 08:10 am EDT, Tue August 17, 2010
Smaller iPad seen still using IPS, lighter weight
Apple's rumored seven-inch iPad gained some credibility with a detailed scoop from the Taiwan-area Economic Daily News narrowing down the suppliers. Chi Mei would supply the screens, which would still use the same high quality in-plane switching (IPS) technique as the current iPad's LG-made screen, while AU Optronics would make the touch layer.
Rather than turn to Foxconn (Hon Hai) to assemble the smaller tablet, Apple is reportedly hoping to diversify its sources and would use a new Compal factory to manufacture the design. The choice is slightly appropriate as Compal not only makes six- to seven-inch e-readers but also white box Tegra tablet designs that other companies modify for their own creations.
While few technical details of the iPad were made available by the newspaper's sources, they did mention that the new model should be much lighter and address complaints about the relative weight. The smaller frame would weigh about 1.1 pounds, significantly less than the 9.7-inch original's 1.5 pounds. Earlier specs had suggested the new tablet would be part of a second generation and might use an ARM Cortex-A9 (possibly dual-core), 512MB of RAM and the same 1024x768 resolution as its larger sibling.
Prior rumors had put the tablet launch as soon as the end of the year, although Apple now rarely launches new products later than October and has also been targeted at early 2011. [via PCWorld]