Fruity favourite in new flavour?
Techies can speculatively add a small version of Apple's successful iPad to their Christmas list as the company is rumoured to be rolling out a mini tablet in time for the festive season.
According to Economic Daily, a Taiwanese newspaper, there has been a second iPad sighting, which suggests a smaller iPad with a 7 inch screen is in production and could hit the shops before Christmas.
The newspaper has previously correctly predicted the original iPad and now believes several companies in the country are beginning to put together a new model somewhere between the size of the iPad and iPod Touch.
According to the report, Chimei Innolux has won a contract to supply the 7inch LCD screen for the new iPad, which is said to use the same IPS technology designed for wide angle viewing as its larger and slightly older sibling. Another Taiwanese firm, Cando Corporation will reportedly supply the touch screen tech.
Compai Electronics is rumoured to be in charge of assembling the latest fabled product in the Apple orchard, but none of the companies have confirmed the report.
The smaller iPad will reportedly be 200g lighter than its current 900g sibling with its 9.7 inch screen and will be more likely to fit into a pocket...although not as likely as an iPod Touch, which is also rumoured to be getting a makeover in time for the possible Apple refresh announcements, which are traditionally held in September.
Apple is probably keen to capitalise on its iPad success, with the current model predicted to sell to 13m customers this year. It is also possible the firm seeks to launch another tablet into the market it currently dominates to stave off competition from future high profile tablets such as RIM's Blackpad, Samsung's Galaxy pad and Asus' Android tablet, which is expected to in March 2011 and set consumers back less than $399.
In fact, Asustek, has seen sales of its Eee PC netbook plunge below expectations in Q2, which it blames on competition from the iPad, according to Digitimes.
The company has reportedly downgraded its target shipments for Q3 of this year to 1.4m units, despite it traditionally being a popular time for sales, according to Asustek CEO, Jerry Shen.
The company's financial performance took a hit in Q2 due to fewer shipments of notebooks, netbooks and motherboards. Although it will continue to males its Eee PCs, it will reportedly also enter into the competitive tablet market with its Eee Pad and Eee Note series.
Due to launch in October, the 9.9 inch Eee Note will use a Linux operating system and cost between $199 and $299, while the 12 inch Eee Pad tablet is set to run Windows Embedded Compact 7 and command around $1,00 in December or January.
With so many tablets set to flood into the market place in the near future, can you see the point of an iPad mini?