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Gruber reiterates talk of 7.85-inch iPad in Apple labs

updated 08:25 am EDT, Thu April 5, 2012

Mini iPad one of Apple's experiments

Talk of a 7.85-inch iPad was revived again after historically accurate John Gruber mentioned in a podcast that it was supposedly still in testing. He told The Talk Show co-host Dan Benjamin that he had heard from numerous insiders that the smaller size was "one of the ideas they're noodling with." The design he understood had the same 1024x768 resolution as the iPad 2, just scaled down to the lower physical size.

To visualize the size, he suggested a trick that he had mentioned in the past when hearing of the 7.85-inch size only through outside reports. Capturing a screenshot of the iPad in portrait orientation and flipping the image to landscape gives an approximate idea as to how big the screen would be, he said. While it was possible some text might be small, it wouldn't be unusably so. The width of current iPads should roughly represent the length of the mini tablet.

Whether or not the tablet is actively in development wasn't mentioned by any of Gruber's contacts and wouldn't be certain. Apple is well-known for substantial development of ideas that never become public, even cancelling them just days before they would be announced. The company's late co-founder Steve Jobs is well known for having sharply criticized seven-inch tablets and might have discouraged any development.

However, the slightly larger screen and competition from the Kindle Fire may have altered the situation by giving Apple a reason to undercut cheaper tablets while still preserving its intended experience. Jobs was likewise well known for feints where he would insist no one wanted a speculated device, such as a video iPod or an Apple-made phone, only to turn around and produce it once market dynamics and technology let him introduce hardware he could endorse.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Oct 2001



    To compete with amazon. It will release a 7" tablet if it thinks it can sell a sh*t-ton of them and make good money.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    I don't see it happening

    I'm with Steve Jobs on this one: I can't see any benefit for the customer from a 7" or 8" tablet. It's just a weird size.

    Then again, the man's not around anymore. Who knows what kind of shenanigans Tim & the boys are up to? :)

  1. RoboBobo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2011


    Hopefully they'll do this, or even smaller

    The idea that 3.5" iPod touch is the perfect size for everyone, I don't agree. Although I do find the choice of 7", to not be the perfect size for me either.

    I think Samsung was just brilliant in copying Apple's 5.3" screen size, years before Apple themselves even released a device at that size. (not to mention the 7" galaxy tab).

    5.3" is the largest usable size, that is still light enough to sit on the fingers and allow reading like you did with a paperback.

    Think paperback versus textbook. I shudder to think some of you read your textbook, holding the textbook in one hand, and reading it for hours - wow. Others of us, actually set the textbook down on a desk, which meant, we only read our textbooks, when we were sitting at a desk.

    I want a truly portable - not deskbound device, that has the largest screen you can give me, because it's miserable browsing the web or even reading on a tiny screen.

    Samsung says anything larger than 5.3" - and you lose that type of portability of which I'm describing.

    Portable like a paperback - rather than portable like a laptop.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    I think Samsung was just brilliant in copying Apple's 5.3" screen size, years before Apple themselves even released a device at that size.

    So now Samsung is copying apple on things apple didn't even release? Wow!

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