Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

Summary: Along with the iPad 3 with Retina Display, we may see a category creating 8-inch iPad mini

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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.

Topics: Processors, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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22 comments
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  • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

    If .. and that's a VERY BIG if .. Apple were to introduce an iPad mini, than I suspect that Apple will lower the price of the iPod Touch model.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

    No. I can't see this happening, not for Apple. They would have absolutely nothing to gain from introducing an 8" tablet. It would cut into the sales of their current iPads which they sell for significantly more.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

      @Loverock Davidson- Oh come on Loverock it would be the first time in your life that you could brag about having something 8 inches long.
      SamWilkinson
      • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

        @SamWilkinson +1 billion.
        Champ_Kind
    • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

      @Loverock Davidson- I think it makes perfect sense. There is a lot to gain in that many people would buy an iPad but they say it is too big. This would cut into their current sized iPads, but market share is key.
      ManoaHI
  • Not going to happen..

    Form factor doesn't make sense ergonomicaly..
    theFunkDoctorSpoc
    • 8" is the ideal size

      @theFunkDoctorSpoc
      Long before the iPad (and even after) I've used 7" devices. I somewhat enjoy that size. I also enjoy a larger screen as long as it has the classic, time proven 4x3 aspect ratio (what Apple decided on for the iPad).

      About a year ago I ordered from China an Android iPad knock-off that had an 8" (4x3aspect) screen. Guess what? From the instant I used it, it was obvious that this was the best overall, (few compromise) size display. The unit itself was buggy and flawed but they had hit upon the best screen size to fall between a 10" and a 5". In my opinion Blackberry failed, Amazon Fire fails, and any other good, decent tablet fails when it goes with 7" instead of 8".

      Let's hope Apple does bring to fruition a good 8". They will once again show consumers the best way to go.
      camcost@...
      • ideal size for what?

        @camcost@...

        It's too small to view full-sized documents without panning and zooming and too big to fit in your pocket. Seriously, what is the advantage to the in-between size?
        Tigertank
      • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

        @Tigertank an 8 inch 4:3 screen would be more akin to looking at a piece of paper than a 7 inch 16:9 screen. Also, I'm sure that Apple would release it at a minimum of 1024x768, if not 1280x960 or 1440x1050.

        After all, with the higher resolutions, you can tout the benefits of a high DPI screen and how it makes documents immensely more readable than the competition's sub-200 dpi screens.
        Champ_Kind
    • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

      @theFunkDoctorSpoc
      The biggest problem with the iPad is how laughably big and clunky it is. I ride the bus and train every day it is is hysterical to watch people try to use their iPads while they're being jostled around. Kindle users have no such problems.

      Neigh, the [i]current[/i] iPad makes no sense ergonomically. It is waaaaay too big. 6-7" makes much more sense for the purposes of a slate: to read a book or watch small bits of media while traveling, to give to the kids at a restaurant when they're acting up, or to do some light Web-surfing or emailing on the go. Even 8" is a bit too large, but this would be a huge step in the right direction.
      x I'm tc
      • 15 million people disagreed last quarter.

        @jdakula But you're entitled to your opinion.
        matthew_maurice
  • Ask yourself this.

    What fundamental advantage does an 8" "iPad mini" have over a regular iPad? Assuming it had a similar margin and could be priced the same as a Kindle Fire (two <b>big</b> ifs) what value does it bring? Yes, it would probably steal some of the Fire's, uh...fire (sorry, I </i>had</i> to), but we don't know if that market is particularly important (Amazon has never released specific Fire sales numbers). More importantly it's safe to assume that an iPad mini would definitely cannibalize some iPad sales. Even if the margin was the <b>same</b>, Apple would make less profit on a $199-$250 device than it would if that person "bit the bullet" and put down the extra money for a full-size iPad. Since Apple is pretty much selling every iPad it makes, it doesn't make any financial sense to divert manufacturing resources to sell a less profitable device for a questionable market when it's already got a guaranteed market for a highly-profitable device.<br><br>And <i>that</i> is why you won't see an iPad mini.
    matthew_maurice
    • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

      @matthew_maurice Apple, unlike Amazon, won't release a tablet with less than 16 GB of storage space on it. The couple of people that tried Kindle Fires got burned (yes, I know, the puns continue) while taking their devices on a road trip and realizing those tablets could only hold 3 or 4 ripped DVDs apiece after having a couple of games installed.

      I just wish that Barnes and Nobel could be considered real competition when it comes to this space in tablets, since I personally believe the Nook is the best 7 inch tablet right now in terms of cost vs build quality vs expansion.
      Champ_Kind
      • B&N has some problems with IP for the Nook.

        @Champ_Kind MS seems to have them by the "short and curlies", and since the Nook is hardly a major money maker now, it's profitability after license fees are added is suspect.
        matthew_maurice
  • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

    Certainly not impossible. I use an iPad at work and own a galaxy tab 10.1 and both feel a little too big (and heavy) while reading for an extended period of time. My next tablet might be a 7".
    Jean-Pierre-
    • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

      @Jean-Pierre- I have both as well, but I use both at work and at home. I also have a Nook Tablet, which I use a bit more, so I too would like a smaller iPad (there is a Galaxy Tab 2 coming with ICS), and rumored to have ICS on a smaller Galaxy Tab, I think it was the 8" model.
      ManoaHI
      • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

        @ManoaHI Why not get the Galaxy Tab 7.7
        pepe-el-Toro
  • RE: Could an 8-inch iPad be in the works?

    Imagin if Apple never released smaller cheaper iPods. Everyone wasn't willing to spend $299 - $399 for an mp3 player, all they needed was a cheaper (smaller) option to sway them. The first iPod mini (then Nano) and iPod shuffle did just that. And they did not canobolized sales of the befier more expensive iPods (now iPod classics), it just help grow the iPod mocket as a whole. <br><br>The same would happen with a smaller iPad, or larger iPod touch. Although the iPad is at a great price. for all that it offers, lets not pretend everyone can afford it, or need all that it offers (A6, beefier specs, large 10" retina display). There will be enough of a distinction between the two devices to avoid much cannibalization IMO. I could see a Pro level 10" iPad with retina, A6, even longer battery, and a smaller cheaper 7" sibling for the, siblings. Sales quadrupling easily.
    dave95.
  • 8-Inch Archos Tablet....

    Just wanted to add my 2 pence, Archos already have an 8 inch Android Tablet (G8), so innovator...no. I use this for work but personally have a playbook.

    I have to say, i prefer the 7 inch playbook far more to 8 inch archos. If i was aloud to use it for work i would.

    I think a lot of Apple's 'mini tablet' position in the market would come down to the build quality which i don't doubt will be fantastic...
    adamjnichols
  • domination of Android tablets at the low end....

    I was in Hong Kong just a few weeks ago and noticed a slew of 7" Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablets selling like hot cake! They were priced between US $80 ~ $200. Don't forget ICS requires higher hardware spec so these tablets all come with at least 512MB ram and 8GB flash storage. If a $199 Kindle Fire doesn't cannibalize iPad's low end sales, these <$100 Android tablets will. In no time it will be like the late '80s where Apple computers' market share got marginalized due to a market flooded with cheap PCs
    mizzle