Gruber: 7.85-inch iPad in the Works

Reigniting old rumors, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber said on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk Show podcast that a 7.85-inch iPad is in the works at Apple.

The rumored iPad will run at 1024 x 768 resolution, the same as that of the first and second generation iPads, giving the device a pixel density of about 163 pixels per inch. It won’t be as sharp as the 2012 iPad’s 264 pixels per inch, but it will be noticeably sharper than previous iPads without requiring apps to be redesigned to fit a custom resolution.

Attempting to describe the physical proportions of the device, Mr. Gruber stated that the smaller iPad is about as tall as a standard iPad in landscape orientation.

7-inch iPad

The 7.85-inch iPad (right) in proportions described by Mr. Gruber.

While rumors of a smaller iPad have been circulating since before the original iPad even shipped, and the fact that Apple has a product “in the works” is almost meaningless considering the number of ideas and prototypes that Apple’s R&D team examine, the fact remains that Mr. Gruber has multiple reliable sources inside the Cupertino company and that his predictions often pan out. 

Still, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that Apple has long had a 7-inch iPad in the works, one that may even be “complete” by design standards, and that the company is simply reluctant to release it for fear of complicating the product line. As Mr. Gruber stated: “I think the question Apple asks is ‘why should we release it?’”