Apple planning a smaller iPad - report

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Apple planning a smaller iPad - report
The hunter becomes the hunted. Google's Nexus 7 has been dubbed by some as the "iPad killer", given its nifty features at half the price of the cheapest iPad. Well, all that talk may about to be reversed.

Bloomberg quotes "two people with knowledge of the plans" as saying that Apple is working on a smaller, cheaper version of the iPad that may debut in time for the holiday season. The smaller iPad will "have a screen that's 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version".

The smaller screen would allow Apple to keep the costs in check, and the "iPad Mini" may be priced around the $199 mark. This would pit the smaller iPad straight against the likes of Google's recently announced Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire. (See: Google unveils $199 Nexus 7 to take on iPad, Kindle)

"It (smaller iPad) would be the competitors' worst nightmare," Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., told Bloomberg in an interview. "The ball is in Apple's court."

Apple, continuing its policy of neither confirming nor denying any product related rumours, declined to speak to Bloomberg on the story.

Rumours of a smaller iPad are hardly new. In April this year, noted Apple pundit John Gruber had sent the rumour-mill into overdrive when he mentioned Apple had a working prototype of a 7.85-inch iPad in its labs. According to Gruber, this prototype sports the same 1024x786 resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, which means developers would have to spend no effort porting their apps to the smaller iPad. (See: 7.85-inch iPad could release this June, claims expert)

Later that month, media reports emerged suggesting Apple had ordered Samsung screens that are 7.86-inches measured on the diagonal, which many saw as "confirmation" of a smaller iPad. (See: Steve Jobs called it a "tweener", but smaller iPad may be for real

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