In news sure to provoke a new round of feminine-sanitary-products jokes
, sources inside the Chinese electronics manufacturing industry are reporting that Apple is readying a smaller version of the iPad
. Supposedly to be released in early 2011, the (cringe) mini iPad would have a screen somewhere from 5 to 7 inches in size, and sell for under $400.
is a daily newspaper out of Taiwan printed in Chinese that covers the semiconductor, electronics, computer and communications industries in Taiwan and East Asia. The Chinese-language and English-language websites have often presented rumors from industry sources, with a mixed track record for success. According to DigiTimes Research senior analyst Mingchi Kuo, the smaller iPad will be a 5- to 7-inch version of the current iPad, and will focus more directly on the e-reader market. Citing “upstream component sources”, Kuo speculated that the device would sell for less than $400, putting it into more direct competition with e-readers like Amazon's Kindle.
Kuo also took the opportunity to slam the soon-to-be-released HP Slate tablet
in his report, saying that the device is unlikely to provide a competitive portable experience to the iPad since it uses an Intel processor which consumes more power.” The Slate, demoed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at CES this year, will have an 8.9-inch, 1024-by-600-pixel display (slightly smaller and lower resolution than the iPad), a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. It does have features the iPad does not, though: it sports not one but two cameras - a 3MP lens in back and a front-facing VGA camera - a USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader, a "conventional" SIM tray for 3G networking, and HDMI-out video capabilities and 32 or 64GB of built-in flash storage (expandable via the SD card slot). According to Kuo, who again cited sources from the industry, the HP Slate will be made by Inventec, and is will launch in the middle of 2010.
Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope suggested before the iPad launch
that Apple might be “nimble” on its pricing, if the device didn't sell as well as expected. In today's event
, Steve Jobs announced that 450,000 iPads had been sold so far.