Smaller Format iPad is Unlikely

Posted on February 15, 2012

The Wall Street Journal posted a story suggesting that Apple is considering launching a smaller screened iPad.

TAIPEI–Apple Inc. is working with component suppliers in Asia to test a new tablet computer with a smaller screen, people familiar with the situation said, as it looks to broaden its product pipeline amid intensifying competition and maintain its dominant market share.

John Gruber at Daring Fireball suggested that, from his sources, Apple was only considering releasing such a smaller device. Gruber doesn’t believe they actually will.

The reasons for Apple to NOT release a smaller iPad are legion. A device with a smaller screen size and a smaller resolution adds additional costs to developers and can reduce the experience of the user on the new device. A smaller screen needs an interface that’s different from both the iPhone and the iPad which is no small issue for smaller companies.

Today, Apple is alone amongst device manufacturers to provide only very few standard screens. We don’t see them moving away from that trend.