Apple Reportedly Working On Small iPad

Apple is reportedly working on a cheaper and smaller version of the iPad, geared to those users more concerned about reading rather than text inputting

Is Apple working on a smaller version of the iPad? Well according to a media report, Steve Jobs and co are apparently developing a ‘Nano’ version of the iPad, set for release in the first quarter of 2011.

This is according to DigiTimes, a daily newspaper for semiconductor, electronics, computer and communications industries in Taiwan and Greater China.

iPad Nano

According to the Digitimes Research senior analyst, Mingchi Kuo, who cited talks with “upstream component sources”, the smaller iPad will be a 5- to 7-inch version of the current iPad, which sold over 300,000 units last Saturday (3 April) when the device went on sale in the United States. According to other media reports, the iPad is expected to go on sale in the UK on 24 April.

Kuo states that the smallsize iPad will be priced below $400 (£263) and will “target the highly-portable mobile device market and consumers that focus mainly on reading and do not have a high demand for text input.”

At the moment, the cheapest iPad is the 16GB Wi-Fi model, which costs $499 (£329), whereas the most expensive version, the 64GB version that comes with Wi-Fi and 3G, costs a hefty $829 (£546). Earlier this year Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope suggested that Apple may be “nimble” on its price point, if customers refuse to flock to the device during its initial rollout.

HP Slate Slated

In the same report, Digitimes’s Kuo also took a shot at what is expected to be one of the iPad’s chief rivals. Kuo said that the “HP Slate is unlikely to provide a competitive portable experience to the iPad since it uses an Intel processor which consumes more power.”

This is despite analyst group IMS Research warning earlier this week that Apple’s iPad tablet could face some stiff competition, after it estimated that a quarter of all the tablet devices that ship this year will run Google’s Android operating system.

According to Kuo, who cited sources from notebook player, the HP Slate will be made by the original design manufacturer (ODM) Inventec, and is scheduled to launch in the middle of 2010.