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A 7-inch iPad Underway?

The Original 10" iPad

Do we want 70% of the Original iPad?

Every week presents a new rumor regarding Apple and its plans on developing new permutations and models of their products.  For this week, news is circulating about a smaller version of the iPad to match Android phones, rumored to measure only 7 inches.  This rumor has been made available by Shanzai.com, a technology website that claims to have gotten the news from sources inside factories in China, who have been tasked with the production of this gadget.

The website confidently said last week that there will be a tablet measuring 7 inches, which is well in progress in its development.  In fact, it is claimed that the product is already finished, except for a few final touches.  The site adds that “different designs have been floating around to help Apple protect itself from people discovering its next product look and feel.” However, it is said the final design will most likely resemble the iPhone 4 instead of the original design of the iPad.

More rumors about the new iPad

The past two weeks have rumors centered on the possible features of this smaller iPad, which includes having cameras for video conferencing using the Face-Time software.  Rumors of the 7-inch iPad have started since August, though, with Digitimes Research saying it will be launched on the first three months of 2011 and that its processor will be based on an ARM Cortex A9.  The editor-in-chief of iLounge, Jeremy Horwitz, added that the new device may be launched as early as late 2010.

iPad still the market leader

As of the moment, the current iPad is still the leader in sales among tablet computers, although the coming of new devices from rival manufacturers like the Galaxy Tab by Samsung may be a small threat to the Apple gadget, especially since these new ones will try to incorporate flashier features like dual cameras for video conferencing. Hewlett-Packard is also reportedly to be joining the bandwagon of tablet PC manufacturing with a gadget that enables video conferencing and the ability to run Flash. Among the challengers to the throne of the iPad, the Galaxy Tab and a Dell Android tablet prototype boast of screens spanning seven inches, something that may be more of a standard with future tablet PC developments.  The Galaxy Tab is counting on its size to be a selling point – it can be held in one hand and weighs only as much as a can of soda with contents.

Following the news on what Apple has been cooking up, there is an ongoing debate whether or not the iPad is “cannibalizing” the sales of notebooks.  This may cause worries among low-end notebook manufacturers, as the number of companies joining the tablet PC manufacturing craze can make their products obsolete.  So far, though, many analysts have been noting that the market for netbooks having been steady.  Until when, that keeps everybody guessing.

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