Apple orders 7.85″ iPad Mini display samples from LG Display and AU Optronics

Apple iPad Mini may be more real then you think.

According to the Taiwanese Economic Daily News, two potential suppliers – Korean LG Display and Taiwanese AU Optronics – have recently sent samples of their iPad Mini displays to Apple. EDN sources tell them that Apple has already set the specifications for the smaller tablet, which is scheduled to ship early next year.

iPad mini display panel size is 7.85” and it has the same resolution as the iPad 2.

There is a lot of speculation that iPad Mini is Apple’s  response to the cheap 7” Kindle Fire that Amazon launched earlier this month. But I do not think this is a case.

While Steve Jobs dismissed 7” tablets in Apple’s earnings conference call a year ago, it does not mean much. Steve has been known to publicly deny and dismiss a lot of products until Apple was ready to launch them. iPod or even the idea of tablet PC itself.

A smaller 7-8” iPad does have a lot of merit in and of itself. In addition to being cheaper due to smaller display panel size, it will be a much more portable device, easier to carry around, which could make it attractive to a whole new set of customers.

And while Apple seems to have found a sweet spot, “one size fits all” form factor for the iPhone, and has no immediate plans to change that, tablets are a very different category of device. It is a completely new and uncharted market, with a lot of room to explore an additional device sizes and form factors.

Broadening a product range with a cheaper, smaller and more portable tablet should help Apple maintain the market dominance it enjoys now, even longer.

Hat tip to @dnystedt for the pointer 🙂


Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Anonymous

    If true, this explains why Apple is on a war path against Samsung. Or maybe, Samsung knew more about Apple plans and went on to capitalize on a future product of theirs.

    Whatever the case, I hope this is true. Cheaper pads. Cheaper android tabs. Even cheaper discount tabs. And now, when windows releases their tablet, they’ll be forced to release a competitively priced machine.


  • Merk

    1536×2048 at ~326 dpi almost exactly matches iPhone’s display resolution.
    An iPad screen shot of IOS 5’s notification center resized to 7.85″ shows fonts and buttons at almost exactly the same size as on iPhone’s display.
    If Apple thinks the iPhone’s UI is o.k. to use, than it also would be o.k. to use 768×1024 on a 7.85″ iPad.
    Plus it would be a perfect base to introduce a Retina version of iPad.

  • Harvey Lubin

    Other size iPads in the future makes sense. Remember that for 3 years Apple had only one version of the iPod, until they came out with the first iPod mini.

  • Mariana Franzetti

    I already own an iPad 2, but I would definitely buy this as a gift for someone. Or I would buy one for traveling.

  • Gruber

    Apple should come out with a 7-inch tablet that could link effortlessly with DSLR cameras for either still photos or video. Video DSLRs are a huge deal right now.