More iPad rumours are spreading in the run-up to Apple’s press event next week, as reports claim Apple may release a 7.85-inch iPad in the third quarter of the year and may release a cheaper 8GB iPad 2 alongside the next iPad.
7.85-inch iPad in production for third quarter of 2012?
Taiwanese news site DigiTimes reports that sources on the iPad’s supply chain have delivered samples of 7.85-inch iPads for verification and that production could begin on the third quarter of 2012.
The tablet is reportedly being made to compete with Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet. The rumoured smaller iPad is expected to retail between US$249 and US$299.
The rumours reflect earlier reports of a 7.85-inch iPad, which was said to debut in late 2012.
This rumour should be taken with a grain of salt for now – Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs said 7-inch tablets would be “dead on arrival” though now that Apple is being run by Tim Cook, it may go in a different direction.
The reported release date for the tablet also goes against Apple’s ‘one iPad per year’ schedule. Apple usually unveils its new iPad in spring of each year, which was reflected in Apple’s recent press invitation to reveal its next iPad on 7 March.
Apple to unveil 8GB iPad 2 alongside next iPad unveiling
DigiTimes also reports that Apple will unveil an 8GB iPad 2 alongside 16GB and 32GB models of its next iPad at the press event on 7 March.
According to its supply chain sources, the 8GB iPad 2 aims to cover different market segments.
This rumour is similar to how Apple released an 8GB iPhone 4 alongside the launch of the iPhone 4S for consumers looking for a cheaper iPhone.
Of course, nothing will be confirmed until the event on Wednesday.