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Suppliers seen locked in for 7-inch iPad

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]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Too Small

    Sorry, I think the current iPad size is great, as the sales show. I think the iMini Pad will be a mistake (unless it is ridiculously low in price). They run the risk of taking sales away from the larger iPad... not sure if there are people holding out on the iPad purchase because it is too big.

    I am basing this on my perusal of boards, my own personal experience and discussions with about 20 iPad users. Hardly statistically significant, but still does not indicate that a smaller version is needed...unless it is $199

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2009


    love it, but don't believe it

    Personally, I would love this form factor, but I don't see it. If Apple was testing a new iPad form factor then the code for it would have shown up in that boy Genius report from yesterday. Unless you believe that they are dropping the current form factor then there has to be two iPads for next year, the current size and this new one. Apple is currently testing next years iPad, but only one model according to the codes.

  1. Lifeisabeach

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010


    On second thought...

    I hadn't bought much into this particular rumor, but I'm thinking now that it does make more sense for many uses. The iPad is a bit heavy and clumsy, and to be used in a work environment, particularly all the medical uses people keep clamoring how they can see it being used, I don't really think it's practical as it is. The iPod Touch is a bit small, but a 7 incher might be about the right size point to make it more practical for carrying around all day in a work environment.

  1. space-e

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000


    My Wife

    says she'd prefer a 7 inch, my 9.7 inch is too big...

  1. Jane66


    Joined: May 2010


    comment title

    hmm, really? launch the 7-inch iPad by Christmas!
    Well, I think the 9.7 inch screen must be more popular for enjoying movies and videos, u know one of the top features of iPad is movie watching. At least now Im sucked in enjoying kinds of videos and movies with iPad, though some times need in the help of iPad video converter from iFunia for lack of flash support.

    But on the contrast, the 7-inch also have market I bileve, as it will be lightter than the 9.7 inch one, it's really a little heavy to keep around.

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