Apple iPad 3, rumors of 7.85-inch mini tablet resurface


(CBS News) What iPad 3? Rumors of a 7.85-inch iPad are making rounds Thursday.

DigiTimes is reporting that "makers" in Apple's supply chain has started "delivering samples of a 7.85-inch iPads for verification."

If the rumor is true, production could begin in the third quarter of 2012. DigiTimes is estimating the price of the 7.85-inch iPad will be $249-$299, which will go head-to-head with the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook, which are prices at about $199.

This new report matchesa previous claim by 9to5Macthat there would be three iPads released this year. Again DigiTimes was cited as saying Apple gave two versions of the new tablet, code named J1 and J2, to "upstream partners for development."

Why Apple would target this market is mystery. I may eat my words later, but I stand by my opinion that Apple simply doesn't need to enter the mini-tablet market.

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Apple's co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, famously said in 2010 earnings call, "7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad."

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There's no lack of demand for an iPad, so there's no reason for Apple to undercut itself. As far as the details of the iPad 3, we'll all settle the score March 7. An iPad 3 mini remains to be seen.