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Apple Does Have a 7.85″ iPad in their Labs


As noted by The Tech Block and The Next Web, during his Talk Show podcast with Dan Benjamin, DaringFireball's John Gruber offered up some additional confirmation of the existence of a 7.85" iPad. Gruber reports that he has been told by "numerous" people that this size iPad is something Apple has been "noodling with".

When asked by Benjamin if he thought a 7.85" iPad would ever be released, Gruber responded (at ~1hr 19min):
“Well, I don’t know. What I do know is that they have one in the lab…a 7.85 inch iPad that runs at 1024×768… it’s just like the 9.7" iPad shrunk down a little bit. Apps wouldn't need to be recompiled or redesigned to work optimally on it. It's just the iPad smaller.
Gruber has offered accurate information in the past and seems to have many contacts with Apple. Gruber does point out that Apple has many prototype products that never make it to market, and reminds us that Steve Jobs once said that he's was as proud of the products that Apple hasn't done as the ones they have.

It has been clear to us that a 7.85" iPad has been in late prototyping stages. Reports have been coming from the Chinese supply chain about such a device for months. This indicates that Apple isn't just toying around the the form factor in their labs in Cupertino, but is also working with supplies on possible production. As Gruber said, this still isn't a sign that Apple will necessarily release such a device.

The reason why a 7.85" screen might make sense for a new iPad has been detailed in the past, and we have a paper mockup that can be printed out to compare its size to a 9.7" iPad.

Related roundup: iPad mini 3

Top Rated Comments

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35 months ago
Not surprising. Steve Jobs said Apple tested 7" variants back during the iPad 1 release.
Rating: 14 Votes
35 months ago

These 'rumors' are getting tiresome now.

With all the rumors on this forum lately of 7.8" devices, 5" devices, 4.5" phones, 4" phones....


I know! Why don't they move them all to a forum that deals with such stuff. :mad:


:D
Rating: 11 Votes
35 months ago
I do really believe this will be a good idea. Choosing between iPad '3' and iPad 2 might not be as easy as choosing between an iPhone 4 and 4S. At 1024 x 768 pixels, a smaller iPad will inevitably have a better display quality, comparable, if not as good as the new iPad's Retina Display.

Apple's bill of materials will go down for the size and they'll be able to keep it at a lower price point. Developers won't need to remake their apps. Customers will have a clear choice to what they want.

Everybody wins.
Rating: 9 Votes
35 months ago

Not surprising. Steve Jobs said Apple tested 7" variants back during the iPad 1 release.


people always say this. but this is different. I'm sure they tested 5" and 12" inch sizes too in their labs, but they aren't exploring mass producing those sizes (like they are for the 7.85")

arn
Rating: 5 Votes
35 months ago

when you listen to the actual podcast, gruber's recollection of the "7.85" number seems suspect. he misspeaks little details like this all the time; he even refers to instagram as "instapaper" in this very episode (twice!). i'm not doubting that there's a 7" ipad out there; i'm just doubting the number is exactly 7.85" (why go two decimal places?).


this explains why it has to be 7.85":

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/27/why-a-7-85-screen-for-the-rumored-ipad-mini-makes-sense/
Rating: 4 Votes
35 months ago

this explains why it has to be 7.85":

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/27/why-a-7-85-screen-for-the-rumored-ipad-mini-makes-sense/


well if you're going to get all logical on me... :)
Rating: 4 Votes
35 months ago
I can see a market for this the price would have to be right... 299? Wifi only? 1 storage 16gb? I Think if would be a great iPad while at the same time offering some things the current iPad can't, weight, price, battery life (no retina, new battery tech) would kill the kindle fire over night IF the price is competitive with it.
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago

I think it would be irresponsible for Apple not to prototype an iPad model that could compete with the Kindle Fire and other, smaller tablets. However, I am at a loss for use-cases where the smaller screen would be preferable or compelling.

Although that might be a lack of imagination on my part; I would never dream about buying a Kindle.


On a workday, over 4 million people ride the New York City Subway system. The current iPad is just a little large for a straphanger to easily use one handed on a crowded train. I see a lot more Nooks, Kindles and Android tablets in those tight quarters. I also think an 8" tablet would fit in winter coat pockets, eliminating the need for a Man-Bag.

I think it will sell and is inevitable if only to satisfy Apple's need to make stuff smaller. :)
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago

If you ask me, I think this is a pointless product. If you want a bigger screen, get an iPad. If you want something smaller, get an iPod.


So what if you could only get an 11 inch MacBook or a 17 inch MacBook? See how ridiculous that sounds? There is a reason there are also 13 and 15 inch versions too...
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago

Take a look at that inky black AMOLED screen on Nokia Lumia 800 & HTC One X. Apple need to get on that technology....FAST.


Unfortunately other than the inky black, AMOLED has too many things against it right now. First and foremost, only one company(Samsung Display) makes them in volume and they have already been having trouble meeting the demand. Plus there are color accuracy issues, higher power usage, relatively inferior outdoor visibility, etc.

Plus the AMOLED display in Lumia 800 is pentile, which bothers mane people, including me, and yes I own an AMOLED phone.

I do believe one day Apple will use an OLED display but that might take a while before it's ready to be used for Apple products.

Interestingly, the place where AMOLED makes most sense will be iPod Nano because it can really do a good job as a watch due to not having to light up the whole screen. Also AMOLED can be made thinner so it's a good fit for Nano.
Rating: 3 Votes

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