7.85” iPad is no sure thing, says blogger

If you listen to the latest chatter around the web, you might think Apple has a 7.85" iPad close to hitting production. But that might not be so. As The Next Web reports, blogger John Gruber addressed the device on a recent episode of the Talk Show podcast, and he’s not so sure Apple will release it. Here’s a transcript:

“Well, I don’t know. What I do know is that they [Apple] have one in the lab…a 7.85 inch iPad that runs at 1024×768…it’s just like the regular iPad shrunk down a bit,” Gruber said. “I’ve heard from multiple people that this is something that they’re kind of noodling with.”

Gruber added that the device is about as tall as the current iPad is wide, and it’s small but usable. However, he goes on to say, "I think it’s . . . a maybe," and, "[Apple] make all sorts of products that they never actually release." When asked to go on record about the device’s prospective release, Gruber refuses, saying, "It could be something that they never ship."

Interesting. I’m sure Apple has all kinds of crazy prototypes in its labs, and The Next Web points out that the company’s design and prototyping process may involve suppliers in China, which could explain the rumors we’ve heard from the Far East. When or whether the device sees the light of day remains unclear, though.

Comments closed
    • Decelerate
    • 8 years ago

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple has every quarter-inch size covered with prototypes, from 2″ to 60″.

      • ew
      • 8 years ago

      LOL 60″! And people complain about not being able to put it in their pocket now.

      • Wirko
      • 8 years ago

      Quite probably. You need very many different sizes and a lot of testing to determine that 7.8″ is to small and 7.9″ is too large.

    • blastdoor
    • 8 years ago

    Such a device would probably enable them to hit a lower price point. I guess the question then is whether they need to hit that lower price point or not. The answer may depend on how well the Kindle Fire does. If the fire fizzles then I doubt apple will release this.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    I think it’s blatantly obvious that Apple would be testing a smaller iPad. I’m pretty sure they test a lot of things. The iPad went through a lot of iteration before its release. I’d expect no less from anything else that Apple puts out there. The fact that the word is trickling out in all directions that they’re testing one suggests it’s closer to release than not.

    The things we never hear about, those are the things Apple doesn’t release. We don’t know it because they aren’t ever close to release, so they aren’t “leaked.”

    I always remember the golden rule of Apple advertising: “A leak is worth a thousand press releases.” If there is uncertainty, people talk about a thing more often than if there is certainty. “Does the iPad have retina?” “Does the iPad have Siri?” “Is the new iPad going to raise the price?” That’s a lot more chatter than, “New iPad announced as coming in six months. Will have higher than high def, dictation, and all at the same pricing as the older models.”

    Bloggers, news sites, Apple sites, technology review sites, tech news sites, etc, have spent the last year talking about the iPad (2012), advertising its awesomeness before it was even announced or shown. That’s the kind of advertising most companies wish they could produce.

    And all at the cost of a “leak” to one of Apple’s trusted leaking partners…

      • trackerben
      • 8 years ago

      Some of these leaks are not intended or planned by Apple. I should know, being the recipient of a few from a friend working in the supply chain. Funny that this meme story is back, as I had asked about the rumored availability of this “7.85in iPad” thingy and was laughingly told it wasn’t true, at least not for this release cycle. Apple would have prototypes of this class but none are making the rounds of Apple’s design and integration partners as a coming model.

      However, there’s room for a “designed in Cupertino” under another brand. HP is the likley suspect as the industry gorilla absent in this game. It ended its own handheld development thus freeing up supply chain capacity to (possibly) Apple’s benefit. HP could be favored with designs and licenses for a line of sub-10inch devices to compete with cheap Kindles and Nooks, with Apple reserving the tax audience to itself. Licensing iOS to a European front like Philips could weaken the EU’s anti-Apple stance and help keep a sunrise market out of those uppity OEMs’ grasp.

        • demani
        • 8 years ago

        Interesting concept (and one that would shake things up quite a bit), but Apple’s history argues against that: they started to go down that road with the HP iPod (by Apple) that hit the market briefly and then disappeared. When it was in HP blue it was novel, but when it became just a regular iPod in a different box nobody cared-and the reason it did was that Apple didn’t want to even give control of the color over to HP.

        Now maybe with Cook running the show things might change a bit, but I’m not thinking that as long as Apple is in a position of strength they are going share the bounty with anyone until they are either forced to due to legal machinations, or they are starting to retreat, when it might be a shrewd move to reinvigorate the market.

          • trackerben
          • 8 years ago

          Well, Apple actually has a history with its neighbor. It was Jobs who approached Rosen to offer Compaq licenses for the MacOS, its “crown jewels” in the 1990s. After analysis and due diligence both later backed out. But the fact remains that Jobs hoped to bed Microsoft’s biggest champion and offered that level of relationship to no other company. Significantly, Tim Cook was Compaq’s production chief, and other Apple leaders hail from the Compaq and Palm WebOS divisions which HP later subsumed.

          It’s no stretch that Cook could pull off something like Nokia and extend Apple’s platforms to the PC industry’s heavyweight. Especially if it makes sense against the strength of Googorola and Samsung Mobile or Microsoft-Nokia. Samsung’s divestment of its display business was likely due in part to pressure from HP. Once Samsung Mobile is no longer a major threat factor in Apple’s supply chain due to the action of “friendlies” like HP, Apple may decide it is free to form its own iTeam with friends.

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    I’m sure that Apple has a prototype of a device and corresponding OS that gives freedom to the users that buy it for a reasonable price.

    But they’ve delayed the launch of said product for more than 20 years now…Maybe this is it…or maybe not…

      • Vivaldi
      • 8 years ago

      I believe that I see what you did there… or maybe not.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    So a blogger takes widely available knowledge (apple has been considering a smaller ipad) and says “maybe they wont release one” and this is news?

    Can i get a news segment on TR if i say “Nvidia is considering releasing a chip faster than the 680 in a few months, but maybe they wont..”

      • cygnus1
      • 8 years ago

      actually, the fact that it DOES exist as a prototype, to my knowledge, had not been confirmed but was still just rumor.

        • Dygear
        • 8 years ago

        He’s a blogger, it’s speculative, he has no idea if Apple really does have one in the lab. Ergo, it’s not confirmed at all.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          I don’t think you know who John Gruber is.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 8 years ago

            I’m pretty sure the point of his response was that he doesn’t CARE who John Gruber is.

            • Dygear
            • 8 years ago

            The creator of Markdown, and the guy behind Daring Fireball, still not an Apple employee.

            [Edit]: +1 to HisDivineOrder, that was funny.

            [Edit]: Why am I arguing? This is the internet, who cares! Go about your business sir.

        • nico1982
        • 8 years ago

        Does such a thing require a confirmation? I’d be surprised if they don’t have at least one iPad prototype for any possibile display size between 5″ to 13″ in their labs.

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          nope. i’m sure that none of the computer manufacturers try different size devices. This another apple innovation? making prototypes? why is this news? oh yah, page hits. I remember. in that case, keep it up gentlemen.

      • Silus
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t see you complaining about Charlie’s articles splattered on the front news page here at TR and they’re nothing more than an “opinion” without any kind of source or proof…

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