Report: Apple planning smaller iPad for Q1 2011

Apple has scheduled a smaller, 5- to 7-inch version of its iPad slate tablet computer for launch in the first quarter of 2011, according to a new report.

Apple has scheduled a smaller, 5- to 7-inch version of its iPad slate tablet computer for launch in the first quarter of 2011, according to a new report.

According to Digitimes Research senior analyst Mingchi Kuo -- whose accuracy we can't vouch for, but whose namesake publication often prints Apple rumors before they become reality -- "upstream component sources" say a smaller-size Apple iPad will target consumers interested in media consumption (reading), rather than media creation (typing).

According to the report, the "iPad mini" (if I may) will be priced at "less than $400" -- that's $399, most likely.

If this is true, it makes for an interesting product lineup shift and a major bet that the iPad is indeed here to stay.

Which begs the question: if the iPod touch is really a small iPad, does the smaller iPad become "iPad mini" and iPod touch become "iPad nano"?