Apple Does Have a 7.85″ iPad in their Labs

iPad Mini comparison t

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
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPad

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Top Rated Comments

gibbz Avatar
160 months ago
Not surprising. Steve Jobs said Apple tested 7" variants back during the iPad 1 release.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SeaFox Avatar
160 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
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menopause Avatar
160 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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
160 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
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
siurpeeman Avatar
160 months ago
this explains why it has to be 7.85":

https://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... :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
160 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":

https://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/27/why-a-7-85-screen-for-the-rumored-ipad-mini-makes-sense/
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)