NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Rumors of an Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPad Mini swirled this week, after both The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that the consumer tech giant is readying a smaller version of its popular iPad.
Citing unnamed sources, the Journal reported that the tablet's screen will be smaller than 8 inches. The iPad's screen will measure between 7 and 8 inches diagonally, according to Bloomberg, significantly smaller than the current iPad's 9.7-inch screen.
In a note released on Tuesday, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White noted that a smaller-sized iPad could expand Apple's reach into emerging markets such as China, while also appealing to price sensitive customers in the U.S. and Europe. A smaller iPad would also prove popular in the education market, he added.
"A smaller, more portable device would prove more suitable for younger children, while schools would appreciate the lower price point given the growing budget constraints," noted White.The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm, however, has previously disparaged 7-inch tablets. Former CEO Steve Jobs, for example, famously dismissed the smaller form-factor tablet, calling it "dead on arrival." > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll Rivals Amazon (AMZN) and Barnes & Noble (BKS) both tout 7-inch tablets while Google's (GOOG) new Nexus tablet is also 7 inches. Apple has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story. Shares of Apple, which this week hit $600 for the first time since April, gained 4.09% to close at $605.88 on Friday.
On Monday Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) confirmed that it will cost users $39.99 for Windows 8 Pro if they upgrade from a previous version of Windows. When Windows 8 becomes generally available, users running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 will be able to download a copy of Windows 8 for $39.99, according to a Microsoft blog post. Microsoft has not given a specific date for when Windows 8 will be generally available, but it is aiming to have the software on the market in time for the holidays. There have also have been rumors that it could become available in October. Shares of Microsoft ended the week down 1.68% at $30.18.