John Gruber: 'Apple is working on a 7.85-inch iPad'

Is this Apple's answer to the Kindle Fire?

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According to a well-connected source Apple is working on a 7-inch iPad, even though former boss Steve Jobs was not a fan of smaller tablets.

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The current 9.7-inch new iPad, along with the original iPad and iPad 2, has targeted the top end of the tablet market, leaving the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire to sweep in and claim the budget buyers.

We've heard a number of rumours suggesting that Apple is looking to launch a smaller, more wallet-friendly version of its popular iPad brand and John Gruber, a well-connected tech blogger, confirms these reports.

Same resolution as iPad 1 and iPad 2

Speaking to The Talk Show podcast, Gruber confirmed that he's heard reports of a 7.85-inch iPad prototype knocking around the Cupertino labs, rocking a 1024 x 768 resolution – the same as the iPad 1 and 2.

"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,"

Apple has been reluctant to change the screen size of its iPhone and iPad devices, sticking with 3.5-inches and 9.7-inches respectively for all incarnations – but could the tide be about to turn in this post-Jobs era?

There is no hint at whether this mini-iPad will ever see the light of day, but with the budget market firmly out of Apple's hands, it may well be considering its options.

From TheTalkShow via TheVerge