Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

Summary: Here's the "one more thing" that Amazon hopes it never hears. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on an 8-inch iPad that, if it ever sees the light of day, would compete with the highly successful Kindle Fire.

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Here's the "one more thing" that Amazon hopes it never hears. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on an 8-inch iPad that, if it ever sees the light of day, would compete with the highly successful Kindle Fire.

The WSJ report says suppliers have seen a test device with the same screen resolution as the current iPad 2, which will supposedly be replaced with the iPad 3's high-res "retina display" possibly by next month. AU Optronics and LG Display have purportedly been tapped to provide the panels for the test device.

The late Steve Jobs showed no interest in tablets with screen sizes smaller than the 9.7 inches that grace the current iPads, but he was well-known to contradict previous statements he made (as anyone whose has read Walter Isaacson's bio can attest to). Apple is also notorious for testing products that never see the light of day -- and aren't exposed by press links. Nonetheless, the Fire's success suggests a big market for a shrunk-down iPad, especially if the price shrunk as well.

Would you have an interest in a smaller, potentially cheaper iPad? Let us know in the Talkback section.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPad, Mobility

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Talkback

30 comments
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  • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

    I guess that way they can claim it isn't a 7" Tablet so they're not technically being a hypocrite.

    As for the interest, that would depend on if the software and tablet were optimized to run the same apps without cutting off or skewing the image.
    slickjim
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @Peter Perry If it's the same res as the current ipad 2, it will run all of those apps, just with a bit of squinting involved maybe.
      gtvr
  • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

    Yes, you too can now own a Smaller, more affordable iPad!
    9.7" Original $599
    8.0" New $509
    Rush right out NOW and buy your very own idevice that's never changed in 7 years and only slightly cheaper than it's predecessor even though we have them made by slaves at the cheapest place on the planet. Yes you too can own a piece of history and help make Apple richer than a few more countries combined.
    Nate_K
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @Nate_K

      Yes, because absolutely none of Apple's competitors manufacture their gadgets in China, Korea, etc. In fact I hear that Samsung, Moto, HTC, LG, Sony and Amazon all have moved 100% of their supply chain to the US and require that you show your voter registration card, US passport, birth certificate and make you pass a US history aptitude test before you can even submit your resume to work in one of their plants.
      TroyMcClure
  • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

    strange, double post..
    Nate_K
    • Not so strange

      @Nate_K
      ever since they changed to this "improved" format, things haven't worked right.
      William Farrel
  • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

    I wasn't exactly sold on the 7 inch form factor, being quite happy with my iPad2, but my father more or less commandeered it, so I was in the market for something new. Being cheap (keep in mind, when the iPad2 came out, it was more or less the best deal for the price), I decided to grab a Kindle Fire, and I absolutely love it. There's something to be said about a device you can easily hold in one hand.
    Aerowind
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @Aerowind I have owned a 10" tablet for a year and a half. I love it around the house but it is a bit large for traveling around and it is a bit big for using a swype type of keyboard. I purchased a 7" tablet 2 months ago and it is perfect for taking on the road and using TouchPal (a free swype type keyboard). I still use the 10" at home sometimes but I have to say overall I prefer the 7".
      giagejoe
  • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

    Now why would Apple do that and make an 8" or even a 7" tablet to compete with the Kindle Fire? Several ZDNet bloggers assured us that the Kindle Fire would not affect the iPad or its sales at all. Once again, I was right and they were wrong.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @Loverock Davidson- Because Apple want you to buy stuff through their
      store front vs buying it from Amazon. Apple takes a nice chunk of $$$
      for every sale. Not to mention that since Amazon sells their device at
      a small margin (or loss) that if Apple can get the volume of sales of the
      Kindle device down then Amazon will start to lose money.
      richard233
  • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

    The same resolution as the current iPad means it's going to be a 4:3 screen ratio device. That makes sense as far as avoiding fragmentation goes, but I have to say that 16:9 seems better aspect ratio to me for a 7" device. For 10" devices, I agree that Apple chose the best aspect ratio. But a 7" device feels more natural if it sports the dimensuions of a paperback book.
    dsf3g
  • will fail

    the missing ingredient is FOSS and hence iCrap is doomed: http://techrights.org/2012/02/14/to-love-and-to-hate-apple/
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @The Linux Geek Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
      Gritztastic
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @The Linux Geek Linux is far to late to the party, as for the demise of iProducts, don't hold your breathe on that, Appple will continue to dominate the tablet market for years to come.
      E Conner
  • iPhone 4S AND iPad 2S

    It will be called the iPad 2S. That's what I've been told.
    VintageComputerGuy
  • Doubt if Apple will compete on price

    So it may come out with a Kindle Fire competitor but I doubt Apple will compete on price. In fact the 8 inch might just be Apple's way of providing a slightly cheaper iPad to education to take advantage of their iBooks for education push.
    jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @jscott418

      I agree they won't match price, but I wouldn't be surprised if they get close enough that they can compete in that price range. If they can get into the $350 range, it will be close enough to make a fair share of those defaulting to the Fire consider the iPad "mini".

      If it's any higher than that, there's not allot of price differentiation between that and the 10" iPad, and they're certainly not going to release it just to cannibalize existing iPad sales.

      The education angle is probably right, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see an entry level model available only to education, similar to what they did with a model of the CRT iMac way "back in the day."
      TroyMcClure
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @jscott418
      I tend to agree with this. 8" hardware wouldn't pare costs enough even for Apple to be satisfied with the price to compete with the B&N Tablet at $249, never mind the Fire at $199. Doesn't mean Apple wouldn't find a substantial demand for their device. For Apple to compete on price AND maintain their profit margins I'd guess they'd have to come up with a 5" iTouch like device.
      and even that is doubtful as smalled iTouch devices cost more than a Kindle Fire.
      bunkport
  • 8-inch iPad, Now come with sand paper

    'so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size'<br>- Steve Jobs from the Q4 2010 earnings call
    Samic
    • RE: Wall Street Journal reports Apple testing an 8-inch iPad to take on Kindle Fire

      @Samic That was in reference to a 7 inch tablet. Not 8 inch. Big difference.
      VintageComputerGuy