Report: Smaller iPad to enter production in Q3

While everyone and their monkey continues to prattle on about the upcoming iPad 3, the fires of gadget-based intrigue are already being stoked regarding Apple’s next, next tablet computer.

According to a DigiTimes report, Apple is to begin production of a smaller 7.85-inch iPad in the third quarter of 2012, which is expected to hit retail attached to a price as low as $249 USD.

Although the report does not divulge its sources, its very existence adds weight to a plethora of other industry whispers that point to a smaller iPad capable of helping Apple compete alongside similarly sized rival tablets.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the arrival of said 7.85-inch iPad, while a seemingly sound business move, would fly in face of the staunch opposition to such tablet form factors made by former Apple chief executive Steve Jobs prior to his death.

That being said, if Apple does indeed shrink its hugely successful tablet formula, it would certainly suggest that new chief executive officer Tim Cook does not share that particular vision.

In related news, Apple is expected to unveil a cheaper 8GB version of its existing iPad 2 on March 7 alongside its new iPad 3. The iPad 2 revamp should be priced at $399 USD.

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