Apple is busy developing a 7.85″ iPad mini, according to reports.
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The brand new little sister iPad version is Apple’s first foray into anything below a 9.7 inch and should hit the shelves before the end of next year, sources told Digitimes.
According to supply chain insiders, production will kick off in Q2 2012. An iPad 3 is also due out early next year.
The 7.85″ iPad would also rival Apple’s other tablet foe, Samsung, who released a 7″ Galaxy Tab last year and also a 7.7″ which was set to debut in IFA Berlin, until Apple sought to ban it from the trade show in July (and succeeded).
No word on specs apart from the size although it is bound to be a replica of iPad 3, tipped to be 4G ready, and possibly thicker to support a higher pixel count.
The foray into smaller tablets also marks Cupertino’s attempt to gain traction on Amazon’s cheaper and smaller $199 7″ Kindle Fire on Android (compared to iPad which starts at A$553), which has been selling like hot cakes and its best selling product since its September release.
Amazon are said to be spreading its Kindle Fire goodwill Down Under next year, priced at A$249.
Read Amazon Kindle Fire Set To Go On Sale In OZ In New Year Here