The release rumours surrounding the 7.85in iPad has hogged the limelight for quite some time now. There have been innumerable speculations regarding the size of the expected iPad Mini and the latest rumours stick to the 7.85in display form-factor, citing its size is ideal to support the standard 1024x768 display resolution that fits well with all apps available in App Store at the moment.
So far, there is no solid evidence of any report proving the existence of such a device. But if John Gruber's leaked podcast is to be believed, there seems to be some work going on with Apple's purported iPad Mini sporting a 7.85in screen.
"What I do know is that they have one in the lab, a 7.85″ iPad that runs at 1024 x 768. And it's just like the 9.7-inch iPad shrunk down a little bit. The apps wouldn't need to be redesigned or recompiled to work on it - it's just the iPad smaller," says Gruber pointing at the mini version of the new iPad in the works.
Gruber is known to have well placed contacts within Apple and often gets his hands on pre-released Apple products, reports Cydia. Besides, there is every reason for a prototype model not making the final cut, given Apple's history with last-minute changes. Predicting the launch of an unfinished product accounts to gambling as Apple is tight-lipped about a mini tablet version hitting the shelves any time soon.
But, the biggest unanswered question boggling our minds would be: why Apple is planning to release a 7.85 inch iPad.
Other than cutting through the market shares of Amazon's Kindle Fire in the budget tablet category, Apple has no reason to venture into the uncharted territory with a downscaled iPad version. Nevertheless, if the iPad Mini hits the market, it would at least find the support of iOS developers as it requires no optimization for Apps. The display is already scaled to accommodate the standard 1024x768 pixels resolution supported by the apps.
Other reports also indicate the new iPad would be available at $299, which is a unique price tag for the Apple's tablet. Unfortunately, no further information is available at the moment concerning the product release or specs.