Apple iPad Mini Rumors: Tech Weekly Recap

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Rumors of an Apple ( AAPL) 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."

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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) 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.

Also on Monday, semiconductor specialist Micron Technology ( MU) announced a $2.5 billion deal for bankrupt Japanese chipmaker Elpida.

The Boise, Idaho-based company also announced an agreement to acquire a 24% stake in Taiwanese chipmaker Rexchip Electronics. Thanks to the deals, Micron will roughly double its capacity to make DRAM chips and strengthen its relationship with Apple.

Micron shares ended the week up 16.99% at $6.72.

Netflix ( NFLX) shares surged on Thursday following CEO Reed Hastings' comments that subscriptions are climbing.

In a Facebook ( FB) blog post on Tuesday, Hastings said that the company's monthly viewing exceeded 1 billion hours for the first time ever in June. The CEO expects a couple of upcoming shows to increase viewership. "When House of Cards and Arrested Development debut, we'll blow these records away," he wrote.

Netflix shares gained 20.67% during the week to close at $81.89 on Friday.

Informatica ( INFA) announced weak preliminary second-quarter results on Thursday. The data integration software maker said that it expects revenue between $188 million and $190 million and earnings, excluding items, of 27 cents a share to 28 cents a share.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $217.2 million earnings of 37 cents a share.

Shares of Informatica lost 26.35% during the week to close at $31.39 on Friday.

Seagate ( STX) also announced weaker-than-expected preliminary fourth-quarter results on Thursday.

The hard-drive maker said that it expects to report revenue of around $4.5 billion and non-GAAP gross margin of 33.6%. Previously, Seagate had forecast sales of at least $5 billion and gross margin of at least 34.5%.

Seagate's stock gained 6.92% during the week to close at $24.95 on Friday.

Also this week, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, one of the most tech-savvy politicians in the U.S., jumped into the tech start-up world, co-founding social-video specialist Waywire.

"It's a new social stream for people to consume media and information," he told TheStreet in an interview. "You could use your iPhone with the new app that we're creating to produce a video of what's happening in your neighborhood -- this video becomes part of your social stream."

Research In Motion ( RIMM) will be in the spotlight next week. The troubled Canadian handset maker holds its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on Tuesday, which TheStreet will be live-blogging.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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