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NEW YORK (
Apple(AAPL - Get Report) may well release an
iPad Mini after all. If this happens, it could be the first major product change of the
Tim Cook era.
The Wall Street Journal and
Bloomberg report that Apple is readying a smaller version of its popular iPad. Some have questioned whether an iPad Mini would confuse consumers or perhaps
"tarnish the brand". Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, for example, was against the 7-inch tablet form-factor, calling it "dead on arrival."
On a 2010 earnings call, Jobs said, "One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70% of the benefits of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. ... The reason we [won't] make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit [a lower] price point, it's because we think the screen is too small to express the software."
Consumers, however, have proven there is a market for 7-inch tablets, although the iPad continues to dominate the tablet space, with
68% of the market, according to
Amazon's(AMZN - Get Report) Kindle Fire and
Barnes & Noble's(BKS - Get Report) Nook are both 7-inch tablets, and
Google's(GOOG - Get Report) new
Nexus tablet is also 7 inches.
Microsoft's(MSFT - Get Report) new
Surface tablet in contrast, is 10.6 inches, larger than the iPad.