updated 07:20 am EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
Mini iPad may take thin bezel to maximize design
A rumor starting the week has the often claimed 7.85-inch small iPad using relatively new technology to make the most of its screen. Part suppliers told Digitimes they anticipated Apple using thin bezel technology to make sure as much of the screen was available as possible. Indirectly supporting this, they expected that Shuriken panel designer LG Display would make the IPS or FFS (in-plane or field fringe switching) LCD.
AU Optronics had previously been tapped as a second supplier and was mentioned here.
The suppliers speculated that the smaller design would cost no more than $299 and was intended to curb the influence of the Kindle Fire and, to a lesser extent, historically poor-selling seven-inch regular Android tablets. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is likely to help define the low end of tablets in 2012 and may be a target for Apple.
Along with historically more credible sources pointing to a small iPad, the size might be partly supported by Apple's newer iPad strategy. Along with a $399 iPad 2 showing a willingness to offer cheaper iPads, its decision to simply refer to the third-generation model as the "new iPad" could parallel the iPod strategy of several years ago, where one definitive model exists and any others get variants on that name.