CUPERTINO, California (
is rumored to be preparing a new, smaller-screen version of the
, according to media reports.
, citing Taiwanese newspaper
Economic Daily News
, reports that an iPad with a 7-inch touchscreen could be launched as early as the end of this year.
A number of Taiwanese component manufacturers have won contracts to provide components for the new tablet, dubbed the iPad 2, according to
Economic Daily News.
The current iPad has a 9.7-inch touchscreen and has proved extremely popular with consumers. Apple recently announced that it has
, which are also
Apple declined to comment for this story, and analysts seem to think that development of a smaller-screen iPad is unlikely for a variety of reasons. "I am not sure what incremental opportunity that would address," Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman Renshaw, told
. "It's highly unlikely that they will downsize it."
Kumar believes that the existing iPad has already hit the sweetspot of the tablet market. A smaller-screen iPad would also require a slew of new components, posing logistical challenges for Apple, he added. "The whole
has been an exercise in frustration for Apple," said Kumar. "I am sure that they do not want to repeat that on the iPad."
Smaller-screen tablet devices, however, are creeping onto the market, such as
, which offers a 5-inch touchscreen.
Research In Motion
is also expected to have a 7-inch touchscreen tablet
available this fall, which will run the new BlackBerry OS 6.
Apple shares crept up 98 cents, or 0.39%, to $252.95 in early trading on Wednesday, as the Nasdaq dipped 0.25%.
-- Reported by James Rogers in New York
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