Rumor: Apple Upgrading iPad, Releasing 7-inch Model in 2011
By Brennon Slattery
Apple is upgrading its 9.7-inch iPad with a faster ARM processor and is releasing a smaller 7-inch iPad in 2011, according to rumors. Digitimes reports that Apple is set to launch “an upgraded 9.7-inch iPad adopting a new ARM Cortex-A9-based processor and 512MB RAM in the first quarter of 2011.” Apple is also prepping “a 7-inch iPad using the Cortex-A9 processor and an IPS panel with a resolution of 1024×768.”
A 7-inch iPad will likely cost a lot less than its first-generation brethren, as Apple is known for slashing product prices as the technology evolves. Fast Company notes this business trend by reminding readers about the original $500 to $600 iPhone that had no native apps. Then came the $200 cheaper 3G model with native app support. Then came the 3GS that had the same price as the 3G upon its debut but a faster processor, which knocked the 3G’s price down to $100. Fast Company also says that people who buy first-generation Apple products are “suckers” and “lemmings with no self-control and excessive disposable income.” Ouch — but possibly true.
There was a big fallout from the iPhone price cuts too — something Apple will want to avoid if it overhauls the iPad pricing structure. In 2007 Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone would be $200 cheaper, setting off a slew of protests. A lawsuit was even filed over the price cuts. So if Apple wants to reduce prices on its iPad line, it better do so carefully, as early adopters have a tendency to lash out.
How Reliable Is the Source?
Digitimes is known for Apple rumors, some of which have proven blatantly false. Last November it claimed that the Apple tablet would have a $2,000 price tag. It’s also worth noting that Digitimes is quoting its own internal source — Digitimes’ senior research analyst Mingchi Kuo — therefore, it could be creating its own news and hype.