We’ve been hinting here and here on All Touch Tablet about a 7.85 inch iPad Mini that will launch probably in 2012, and today I’ve seen the rumor coming up again, with Digitimes saying Apple was persuaded by Amazon with its Kindle Fire tablet to prepare a smaller size iPad Mini, probably with a smaller price tag too.
The same 7.85 inch size is mentioned, with actual production starting in Q2 2012 and delivery taking place sometime in Q4, which means for the better part of 2012 we’ll be dealing with the iPad 2 and iPad 3. If this is true it means finally Apple is following trends, not just setting them. And I’m glad to see a slightly larger footprint, as 7.85 vs 7 inches means a significant increase in screen real estate, especially if Apple keeps the 4:3 form factor of the current iPad.
And speaking about the iPad 3, new components leaked on the web point towards a major redesign under the screen, which seems to be consistent with Apple’s past years strategy of brining a radically changed architecture every two generations. And since the iPad 2 wasn’t too big of a change from the original iPad it’s about time to see something radical in the tablet space coming from Apple, if it wants to keep its supremacy next year.
And what’s more interesting from a business perspective is that Apple just extended its collaboration with Samsung, who’s going to keep producing dual core A5 chips for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S in its new Austin Texas plant. Probably the deal will continue with A6, a quad-core SoC (system on a chip), if we are to believe rumors. What’s so interesting is that Samsung and Apple are fighting a long legal battle concerning patents and trademark infringements, but that doesn’t seem to stop them from making money together at the same time.