Apple rumoured to launch 7” tablet
05 July 2012
Apple is reportedly working on a seven inch iteration of its iPad to compete with the Kindle Fire and Google’s recently announced Nexus 7.
Reports say that sources suggest Apple’s manufacturing plants have been told to prepare for the mass production of the smaller tablet. Apple was also testing a small tablet device in February according to The Wall Street Journal.
The mini-iPad is expected to launch in October with an initial run of six million units ahead of the Christmas season.
The move comes shortly after Google unveiled its $199 seven inch Nexus 7, a tablet designed to compete against the Kindle Fire which has so far dominated the lower priced tablet market.
The tablet market which was practically created by Apple with the launch of its first generation iPad in 2010 is becoming increasingly competitive as tablet adoption continues to steadily increase. Apple’s major rival in the smartphone space Samsung has recently been blocked from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the US by the High Court as a result of a patent lawsuit.
The most recent iPad helped Apple to increase its net annual profit by 94%. Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire is proving to be another tablet device success story as it claimed the number two global sales spot behind the Apple device in December.
The Amazon tablet continues to gain traction in the US, taking a 54.4% share of the Android tablet market in February 2012, proving that there is a captive audience for smaller tablet devices.
Microsoft has also recently thrown its hat into the tablet ring with its Surface tablet devices. These have set their sites on the higher end of the tablet market and run either an operating system based around Windows Phone or a full version of the upcoming Windows 8.
David Hing, London