Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Apple was considering releasing an iPad sporting an 8-inch display. The new tablet will be only slightly larger than Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet which has sold into the millions since its release in November 2011. It’s thought that a smaller model will shave hundreds of dollars from the device’s price. Other perks of a smaller tablet will include increased portability and less weight but whether or not that’s worth it should be measured against the shrunken screen and increased difficulty typing on the onscreen keyboard. Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, feels a smaller iPad is inevitable but others don’t quite share the belief.
Aaron Vronko, CEO of Rapid Repair, a firm that fixes broken Apple products, presents a few reasons why Apple is unlikely to produce a smaller tablet. Vronko explains that adding another screen size to the iPad line will require iOS app developers to support multiple tablet displays, which is harder to make work than it sounds. Vronko also fears marketing issues, stating that Apple has differentiated between its products largely by screen size. To introduce a smaller iPad would muddy the waters, something Apple has been successful at avoiding. The same argument makes the idea of a larger iPad unlikely as well.
Ken Dulaney, Gartner analyst, called the smaller iPad “very smart,” but added that it’s a long-shot that Apple would actually sell one.