From time to time, the possibility of Apple introducing a 7-inch iPad has been batted around among the pundits. Since Apple traditionally deals in the “high-priced spread” and especially since the late Apple leader, Steve Jobs, always talked smack about the small tablets, an Apple 7-inch tablet has not seemed very likely… until now.
Things are changing.
The first serious 7-inch tablet competitor was Amazon’s Fire. Recently Google’s Nexus 7 entered the fray. That impressive product, along with the rumored pending upgrade of the Amazon Fire, are likely to spur the 7-inch market. Also Microsoft’s announced Surface tablet, while a 10-inch, not a 7-inch display, is likely to take market share from Apple’s traditional market dominance. So this would appear to be a good time for Apple to abandon its snubbing of smaller, less expensive tablets, and enter that marketplace itself.
To compete in this arena, Apple will have to at least come close to the price point of the 7-inch competitors of $200. That means there will have to be some compromises from the current iPad. Notably, the high-resolution screen of the new iPad will probably be the first casualty. How will Apple fans respond to the feature downgrade? I suspect we are going to find out soon.