According to fierce Apple loyalist and laconic blogger, John Gruber of Daring Fireball, Apple is currently testing a 7.85-inch iPad in its labs, though whether it will ever come to market is unknown. The impetus behind this is simple: Apple has the means of producing 1024×768 pixel screens due to the manufacturing process for the iPad 2, and a 7.85-inch screen with the same resolution would be sharp enough for modern audiences (163ppi) without encroaching on the current iPad’s retina display.
Because existing apps would continue to work at 1024×768, and the touch points would only be slightly smaller, Apple wouldn’t need to ask developers to make any changes. This could bode very well in the fight for the pint-sized tablet space, including the next generation Kindle Fire and the rumoured Nexus Tablet that is expected to be unveiled at Google I/O in June.
But it’s also known than Apple tests many screen sizes and form factors to find the right fit for people, and though any product released from the indomitable Cupertino is almost guaranteed to be at least a partial success, a smaller iPad would have to compete on price more than anything to win over the portion of the market that hasn’t already invested in a larger tablet.
Would you buy a 7.85-inch iPad if it came to market for, say, $299?