Is Apple planning a mini iPad for late 2012?

17 Apr 2012

The third-generation iPad

It has only been a month since the third0generation iPad launch, yet rumours of another model have emerged. This time, reports suggest Apple could release a mini iPad for the third quarter of 2012.

Kotaku translated a report from Chinese net portal NetEase, which claims this mini iPad will see a release at the third quarter of 2012 to tackle Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 tablet.

The rumoured mini iPad could cost between US$249 to US$299 and 6m units could be available at launch. The report also claims the mini iPad is being developed by Foxconn and Pegatron.

This isn’t the first report of a mini iPad – previous rumours from the iPad supply chain suggested Apple could launch a 7.85-inch iPad for the third quarter of 2012. These reports also quote the same price range.

A mini iPad could possibly compete with Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet, which is out in the US.

Of course, as with many Apple rumours, the reports 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” but now that Tim Cook is CEO, he could take the company in another direction.

It also goes against Apple’s current iPad release schedule, which usually sees one iPad per year unveiled around March.

That said, Apple could possibly be considering appealing to low- to mid-range tablet customers in spite of its current lead in the overall tablet market. When it unveiled the third-generation iPad, it also said it would continue to sell the iPad 2 starting at a lower price at €399.