Soon after Google ventured in the tablet market with Nexus 7, Apple has reportedly announced plans to launch iPad Mini by end of the year, according to Bloomberg.
Apple is planning to introduce an iPad with a screen measuring “7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version,” says the report.
Apple's smaller iPad, nicknamed "the iPad Mini" by Apple watchers, will purportedly launch in October and sell for around $200 just like Google's new device and Amazon's Kindle Fire. To help it hit that low price, the purported iPad Mini would come without the current iPad's popular high definition Retina display, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's Asian supply chain is gearing up for the mass production of a smaller iPad. The WSJ says people familiar with the matter have confirmed that the device will go into production in September and that Apple is working with LG, among others, on the display tech.
Microsoft flaunted its Surface tablet, which comes with a slick keyboard case but so far no price or launch details. Last week at its annual developers conferences, Google introduced the Nexus 7 tablet, which will run on Jelly Bean, the latest version of the Android operating system.
That could be key if Apple is truly positioning a smaller tablet against the likes of Google's recently unveiled Nexus 7 built by Asus and Amazon's Kindle Fire. Those two 7-inch tablets start at just $199, as compared with the iPad's starting price of $499.
Apple is still the market leader for tablets by a mile. But with new tablets coming from Apple's main rivals and a trend toward offering bargain basement tablets. Apple may be feeling the pressure to answer the competition.
So will Apple offer an iPad Mini later this year? Will that completely take the wind out of Google and Microsoft’s sails — or can their upcoming tablets still compete?
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