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Apple is Testing a Mini 7.85-inch iPad?

Apple is reportedly testing a 7.85-inch iPad, according to the United Daily News.
The site has learned that AU Optronics sent display panels to Apple for testing. The smaller device is said to ship early next year.

According to the manufacturer said, iPad mini baked panel specifications, planning for the 7.85-inch, Resolution, and the same as iPad 2, scheduled to ship early next year, AU Optronics (2409) is currently the only station to send samples of plants, some still touch Apple’s largest supplier TPK Chen Hong, the touch was Kinsus IC substrates.

Apple has been said to be interesting in fending of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet, which is launching next month at a $199 price point. Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White had noted just last week that his research among Asian suppliers is indeed pointing toward Apple releasing an “iPad mini” early next year to take on the Kindle Fire. White cautioned, however, that the “mini” moniker was in reference to the device’s price rather than necessarily meaning a smaller device.

Regarding Apple, our research is pointing to the unveiling of a lower priced iPad in the first few months of 2012 that is aimed at expanding the company’s market potential by tapping into a more price sensitive consumer segment. Essentially, this “iPad mini” will also fend off the recently announced Amazon Kindle Fire that addresses the low-end tablet market with a $199 price tag but could lead to bigger tablet ambitions from the online retailer in the future. The “mini” refers to a reduced price point of this iPad and not necessarily the size of the device. We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range.

Apple is widely rumored to be preparing to introduce the iPad 3 early next year, a device which is said to carry a Retina display with 2048×1536 resolution. A smaller iPad at the lower resolution of the current iPad could enable Apple to lower entry-level price points for its tablet products if it does indeed view Amazon as a significant threat.

Read More [via TNW]

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