Apple’s 7-inch iPad Coming This Fall at Less Than $499

Source: Apple new iPad/ Apple

New York Times joined a number of publications last Saturday, which claims that Apple will be releasing a smaller and less-expensive iPad later this year. Although the NYT report doesn’t contribute much of fresh news, it confirmed previous rumors that the Cupertino-based company will roll out a 7.85-inch tablet that will cost “significantly less than the latest $499 iPad.”

More News About the iPad Mini

According to previous reports, Apple is working on the so-called iPad Mini, and that it is expected to be released later this year. Last week, tech and news site Gotta Be Mobile released purported images of the smaller tablet, comparing it to the new iPad.

Based on the “engineering sample,” which looks like a case maker’s mold, the rumored iPad Mini will feature a smaller 19-pin dock connector. On the either side of it are two speakers that would make the device louder than the current models. Gotta Be Mobile’s pixel count also suggests that the smaller tablet will be thinner than the original iPad and will measure at about 213 mm x 143 mm.

There were also speculations that the iPad Mini will feature an IGZO screen from Sharp with 1024 x 768-pixel resolution.

Retaining Market Share

According to the tech industry’s analysts and executives, the iPad Mini is Apple’s way to retain a larger market share. The smaller tablet could find success in the education sector because it will be suitable for the students, while schools would appreciate a lower price point.

As stated by Topeka Capital Market’s Brian White, a smaller tablet priced between $250 and $300 can have a big impact in developing countries. In relation to this, Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee believes that a more affordable iPad could undermine would-be competitors.

Stiff Competition with Smaller Tablets

In case Apple will release an iPad Mini later this year, the device will face stiff competition against Google’s Nexus 7, Microsoft Surface, and Kindle’s new range of e-readers.

Google will release a 7-inch tablet this fall, and it will be priced at $199. The search engine giant’s Nexus 7 will reportedly run on the latest Android version, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Amazon will also release three follow-up models for its existing Kindle Fire model this October, which is dubbed as “Kindle Fire 2.” On the other hand, Microsoft announced its Surface tablet that will run on Windows 8 and will debut later this year together with the software maker’s latest operating system.

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