Gruber: 7.85-inch iPad in the Works

| Rumor

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?’”

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The reservations I have for it is, “What will it cost?” Complications indeed.

The iPod touch 16GB is $300 and the iPad 16GB is $500 so the obvious price, I guess, is $400 for the same GB little brother iPad.

However, marketing it at $400 might give Apple the incentive to up the price of the next iPad release to entry level $600. Would making the entry iPt 16GB so that $200, $400, $600 becomes the pricing structure for this family of iWonders work? Otherwise, a hundred dollar saving on a pint size iPad, I dunno.

$300 for little brother iPad, how would that affect the iPt family?


You raise a good point. How could Apple position this so as to not cannibalize sales of other Apple products.

iPod Touch 16 $200
iPod Touch 32 $300
iPad 7” 16 $400
iPad 7” 32 $500
iPad 10” 32 Retina Display $600
and up

That would give Apple a spectrum of devices and prices. Each would be distinct from the other. Note this would mean dropping the 16Gb 10” iPad. The logic behind this is that with larger Apps and media to feed the Retina display 16Gb would be too small to provide a good user experience.


I believe an iPad that compact might be just enough to retire the iPod Touch.  Don’t forget, we pay a premium for miniaturization, and I could imagine a large number of people would like the larger screen of an “iPad Touch.”

If the price is closer to an iPod Touch than an iPad, I cold see hundreds of thousands, even millions of on-a-whim sales.


I believe an iPad that compact might be just enough to retire the iPod Touch.

Very good point. I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘retire’ but dropping the current form factor and making it the next version of the iPod Touch would make a lot of sense. Remember last fall they did essentially nothing to the existing iPod Touch. This might be the next big revision. New screen, better cameras, more optimized for what the iPod Touch does. It would also let them honor SJ’s statement that the smaller form was wrong for the iPad. Maybe it’s just a technicality but it wouldn’t be an iPad. It would be an iPod Touch.


It would also let them honor SJ?s statement that the smaller form was wrong for the iPad.

Actually, I think SJ said 7” was too small (for watching videos?), but the oft-rumored one we’re talking about is almost 8”. 

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