According to Digitimes, samples of parts for the wished-for, yet still illusory, 7.85 inch iPad exist. Industry sources reveal that manufacturers in Apple’s supply chain have sent parts for verification, and that production of a smaller iPad could begin as early as the third quarter of 2012.
Were it to enter the market, this tablet model would also sway buyers away from Amazon’s Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet and add to Apple’s 60 percent share of the tablet market.
Just how much would a 7.85 inch iPad cost? Sources estimate the tablet would sell for $249-$299, noting that Apple may also release an 8 GB iPad for $349-$399, and the company has already lowered the price of the iPad 2 to $449.
While a 7.85 inch iPad would have some down sides, such as a smaller keyboard and less real estate for tasks like photo editing, it would be an ideal size for reading an e-book or browsing the Web.