The other day I wrote about some of the rumors around the iPad 3, and even a possible iPad mini. At the time I stated that Apple might be playing around with building a 7" iPad. Well, more reports are surfacing that Apple is actually testing a screen size of around 8 inches.
The above goes with what we've come to expect from Apple. To get into a category the company has to do something different. The fact that there are already 7" tablets out there means that Apple would just be playing catch-up. But, if the company suddenly comes out with an 8" one, it's an innovator again.
As for the iPad 3, Matt Miller put together a quick round up of the rumors for the iPad 3, which include a Retina Display, Quad-core Apple A6 processor, 4G LTE radio for Verizon and AT&T, and better front and rear cameras. As usual, Matt says it's not enough for him to upgrade, but we know he'll stand in line for it as soon as he can. :-)
I think that the 8" iPad could definitely come to be. The main reason being that if Apple comes out with a Retina Display iPad, it can easily bring a "cheaper" 8" iPad to market that uses the traditional display. That way the company can release a cheaper iPad, while holding the $499 starting point for the iPad intact. That said, I doubt we'll see Apple going to the $199 price point, but perhaps people will be able to pick up an iPad 8" for $250 or $300?
According to all of the rumors, we'll find out March 7th or definitely the first week in March.
I prefer my Kindle Fire and love the 7" form factor, so I'm not sure that an iPad sporting 8" is going to be that much of a differentiator.