updated 09:20 am EDT, Fri September 24, 2010
Several decoys allegedly in place
A 7-inch iPad does exist, and is in fact a finished product, rumors from Shenzhen, China are said to indicate. Although five or more designs are allegedly in circulation, these are said to be a distraction to prevent people from discovering the real one. Cosmetically, the latter is claimed to more closely resemble the iPhone 4 than the first-generation iPad.
Shenzhen is home to the Longhua campus plant of Foxconn, Apple's largest manufacturing partner. The company regularly receives some of the first outside glimpses of any future Apple product, as it must begin production weeks in advance to keep up with demand. It's not known how close a 7-inch iPad might be to production, but other reports have pointed to a release in early 2011, or even late this year.