Smaller 7-inch iPad Model Coming in Q1 2011

Submitted by lalit on October 6, 2010 - 5:50pm.

The third Apple related rumor of the day comes courtesy of Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brain White, who is in Asia talking to various component suppliers for Apple products. He is reporting that next iteration of the iPad will debut in first quarter of 2011 and it will have a smaller 7-inch screen compared to 9.7-inch on current iPad model. The 7-inch screen will be high-resolution, Retina display like the iPhone 4. The iPad will also have a micro or mini USB, a camera and up to 128GB storage.

White also said that Apple would ship 6 million iPads for Q3 and over 7 million in Q4, based on information he received from his Asia-based contact. His contact’s employer supplies a component used in the iPad and White’s estimation are based on orders for that component.

After reading Brain White’s report, we contacted our sources because many of the pieces of information that White reported were opposite of what we had been hearing. Our sources say, first Apple will not replace 9.7-inch model with 7-inch model, second generation iPad will come in two screen sizes. Second, Apple will not use micro or mini USB, as they will continue using dock connector, which has been adopted by many accessory makers. Third and last point, Retina display is not coming to the iPad. Even for a 7-inch screen, it very difficult to get 300 pixels per inch, Apple will have to design a display with at least 1600 x 1200 resolution, which would be very costly.

Our sources added that Apple wanted to launch the 7-inch iPad before holiday season, but as there is no competition in the tablet market and Apple is already having trouble meeting demand for 9.7-inch model, the company might delay the launch. However, they warned that Apple would definitely announce few more new products before the holiday season starts.