Get ready for iPad mini

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There is a strong buzz in the media regarding a smaller iPad, which would diversify the company’s product line but develop potential headaches for Apple developers who like producing for the iPad’s one-and-only form factor.

There is a strong possibility that a move to a smaller device may also draw scrutiny from those looking to see how Apple deviates from the company’s guidelines laid out by late co-founder Steve Jobs. It is worth mentioning that Jobs was vocal about his opinion that a 7-inch tablet wasn’t user friendly. He once said that any smaller tablet should come with sandpaper for users’ fingers.

That said, the iPhone, of course, also employs video and apps on a much smaller screen and a move to a smaller tablet could have the advantage of giving Apple a chance to further dominate the tablet fame and break into some prominent international markets.

Some experts are of the view that the iPad mini is not a question of if, but of when. Apple has been working with smaller screens, however, there are doubts when such a product would be released. Indications are that the screen would have the same resolution as the first and second generation iPad, which would be easier on developers.

The introduction of a smaller iPad, would be “the competition’s worst nightmare” and would help Apple make it real tough for others to gain traction in the tablet market. With the iPad 2 already lowered to $399, any further dip in prices would bring it close to the Amazon Kindle Fire’s $199 price point.

A smaller iPad would also help Apple in the all-important Asian markets, where lots of consumers use the iPad to replace their morning paper on the train. Plenty of Asia/Pacific consumers would see the appeal of a smaller iPad as it would be less bulky.

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