It wasn’t that long ago that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Apple had no plans to release a tablet with a 7 inch screen, because existing iPad apps wouldn’t run well and developers wouldn’t want to write apps for 3.5 inch, 7 inch, and 9.7 inch screen. But we’re living in a post-Jobs world, where the 7 inch Amazon Kindle Fire appears poised to finally give the iPad a run for its money in the tablet space.
Amazon announced yesterday that it’s selling a million Kindles each week. While that figure covers E Ink devices as well as the 7 inch Kindle Fire color tablet, the Kindle Fire has been Amazon’s best-selling device since it was unveiled a few months ago.
Now DigiTimes reports that Apple may have its Answer to the Kindle Fire, in the form of… a 7 inch tablet. Based on tips from industry sources DigiTimes is reporting that Apple could launch an iPad with a 7.85 inch display before the fourth quarter of 2012.
Apple is reportedly buying 7.85 inch panels form LG and AU Optronics. I suppose it’s always possible that Apple could just be building an enormous iPod touch or a tiny netbook — something else the company said it would never do.
It’s always a good idea to take reports from DigiTimes with a grain of salt. They have an inconsistent track record, at best. But the Taiwanese news site does sometimes get information before the rest of the world thanks to sources at the companies that actually build many of the computers and consumer electronic devices sold around the world.