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A flurry of rumours have hit the web, hinting at the launch of a new miniature version of Apple’s latest slate, the iPad 3.
According to reports, Apple is keen on releasing an iPad Mini to fend of stiff competition from rival Amazon, who successfully entered the tablet market last year with the Amazon Kindle Fire.
How much truth is behind the rumours and what exactly can we expect to see from the iPad Mini?
Apple is expected to launch the iPad Mini in the third quarter of 2012, according to a Chinese website.
NetEase has quoted two sources who say that Cupertino-based Apple plans to release the reported 7-inch slate to compete with a string of newly released Windows 8 tablets, believed to be landing around at the same time.
A source that claims to have inside contacts at the companies which manufacture Apple products, also claimed that the company will ship 6m units of the device in the third quarter – between July and September.
Those arguing against Apple launching iPad mini use the tech giant’s transcending iconic figure, Steve Jobs to drive home their point. Many say that Jobs didn’t like the idea and considered the 10-inch form factor was the “minimum” requirement for tablet apps.
At the archeleon of his career, Jobs in October 2010 said “The 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps. Seven-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad.”
However, the bottom line is that Jobs’ comments made more than a year and half ago, should not be considered the definitive word on the subject. Just because it didn’t make sense then doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make sense to launch an iPad mini now.
With Google breathing beneath the neck of Apple in terms of worldwide market share of Android-based tablets, from sources it is learnt that the latter is contemplating to make its mark in the Asian market and retain its position through ‘Apple iPad mini’.