Rumor mill predicts 7.85'' iPad, thinner iPad 3

The new iPad is barely four months old, but that doesn't seem to bother the rumor mill. Earlier this morning, we came across not one, but two stories about even newer iPads purportedly due out this summer and this fall. Apple, it sounds like, is keeping quite busy.

First, DigiTimes quotes a report by Chinese-language paper Apple Daily (no relation to the Mac maker), which claims an "upgraded" third-generation iPad will be out later this summer. The device will purportedly feature a new display based on indium-gallium-zinc-oxide panel technology. Thanks to that display, the report continues, Apple's upgraded iPad will feature a thinner body and longer battery life.

Though the Apple Daily story cites "market watchers" as its sources, DigiTimes comments that the prediction is "highly doubtful." Releasing gadgets out of cycle does sound very un-Apple, and it's not like the iPad 3 is suffering in comparison to competing products. In fact, it held up quite well against Asus' new Transformer Pad Infinity in our testing.

The second story, which originates from Chinese site, sounds a tad more plausible. It revives the old iPad mini rumor, suggesting Apple will unveil a 7.85" tablet some time this fall. I'm having trouble getting more details out of the Google translation, but seems to point out (quite rightfully) that Apple now faces competition from two 7" Android tablets with $199 price tags: Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's own Nexus 7. I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple take a stab at that slice of the market.

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