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Apple iPad Mini: The ultimate rumor roundup

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A smaller version of the iPad is coming, you say? What is this, 2009? No, really — we’ve heard this before.

iPads

Lately there’s been no shortage of rumors that Apple’s got a smaller iPad on the way. The only problem is that we’ve heard this song and dance before.

Don’t believe us?

CNET has rounded up just about every claim that a smaller iPad is on the way, going back to before the original iPad was announced.

It’s a collection we plan to keep lovingly updated, and also one that should serve as a tasty grain of salt to take with any rumors that make their way out in the next few months. (Editors’ note: This roundup was originally published May 18, 2012. It has been updated regularly since then, as you can see below.)

See also CNET’s iPhone 5 rumor roundup and Apple HDTV rumor roundup.

2012

August 27, 2012
Apple’s 7-inch tablet will be named iPad Mini, says report
What’s in a name? If it’s Apple, that’s often the question, with the company frequently changing up its naming conventions part-way through a product’s lifecycle. According to Japanese Apple-tracking blog Macotakara, Apple will keep things simple, with a throwback to its first crack at a smaller iPod, going with « iPad Mini. »

August 25, 2012
iPad Mini to launch in October, says report
According to a report by All Things Digital, Apple will hold a special press event in October to debut a smaller version of the iPad. That will come after a September 12 outing of a new iPhone model. No details on price or features are offered.

August 24, 2012
Alleged iPad Mini cases reveal spot for rear camera
Cases said to be for a 7-inch version of Apple’s tablet crop up with a hole on the back for a rear camera. The accessories were spotted for sale in China by Giz-China.com, but were not actually made by Apple.

A mock-up of a smaller iPad.

A mock-up of a smaller iPad.

(Credit: 9to5Mac)

August 21, 2012
Production of rumored iPad Mini to hit 4M per month
DigiTimes reports that Apple’s working to ramp up 4 million units of a miniature iPad per month beginning in September. Based on that math the company would have several million ready to go for a rumored mid-October launch.

August 16, 2012
Rumor: Apple to include ITO coating on iPad Mini
According to AppleInsider, Apple’s smaller iPad will be the first Apple device to sport a super thin coating of indium tin oxide (ITO) from Taiwan-based Efun Technology. The coating is designed to reduce interference and crossed signals that could improve its connectivity capabilities.

August 14, 2012
Imagining the iPad Mini: Mockups multiply
Apple blog 9to5Mac posts mock-ups of what the smaller tablet will look like, citing sources that have provided general design details. The chief visual feature (besides the smaller size) are narrower margins on the side of the tablet’s screen.

August 3, 2012
Here’s Apple’s e-mail thread about a 7-inch iPad
Among the pieces of evidence to crop up during the U.S. trial between Apple and Samsung was the release of an internal e-mail in which top Apple executives discussed interest in a smaller version of the iPad. In it, Apple’s iCloud and music chief Eddy Cue writes to current Apple CEO Tim Cook, iOS software chief Scott Forstall, and marketing chief Phil Schiller, mentioning a positive conversation with then CEO Steve Jobs about a 7-inch version of the iPad. « I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time, » Cue wrote.

August 3, 2012
iPad Mini display production slated for August, says analyst
NPD DisplaySearch says it expects the production of panels for a smaller iPad to begin in August, ramping up in the million units per month territory in the fourth quarter of the year.

July 24, 2012
Report says iPad Mini will be priced to move
Joining some of the other smaller iPad claims, a New York Times report says Apple is working on a 7.85-inch version of its tablet. The noteworthy takeaway from the report is mention that the device « is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad. »

Purported engineering samples of the iPad Mini.

Purported engineering samples of the iPad Mini.

(Credit: GottaBeMobile)

July 10, 2012
Purported iPhone 5, iPad Mini ‘engineering samples’ crop up
Photos of alleged engineering samples for both rumored (and expected) Apple gadgets surface on blog GottaBeMobile, depicting size and features. In the iPad Mini’s case, it’s a piece of orange, molded plastic — not a fully-working device.

July 8, 2012
iPad Mini could take design cues from iPod
Japanese Apple enthusiast site Macotakara claims the iPad Mini will sport a 7.85-inch screen and a design akin to Apple’s third-generation iPod nano. Few other details are offered, besides the suggestion that the unit might not have 3G.

July 4, 2012
Apple iPad ‘Mini’ rumors heat up; launch seen by year’s end
A pair of reports from MarketWatch and Bloomberg suggest Apple is at work on a miniaturized version of its tablet, due out later this year. Citing two anonymous sources, MarketWatch says the screen will be « smaller than 8-inches, » while Bloomberg pointed to a slightly vaguer « 7 inches to 8 inches » size diagonally.

July 3, 2012
Apple’s plans in motion for iPad Mini, says DisplaySearch
Speaking with CNET, an NPD DisplaySearch analyst says that « there’s a business plan » for 7.85-inch panels, and that « there’s a mass production target for it. And we know that it’s for Apple. »

June 29, 2012
Analyst predicts 7.85-inch iPad ‘Mini’ for October
In a note to investors, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves says he « anticipates » a 7.85-inch iPad, with 8GB of storage at a $299 price tag, in time for October. Hargreaves notes that this could end up cannibalizing sales of Apple’s usual 9.7-inch iPad by about 25 percent.

June 4, 2012
Apple looks to iPad Mini, iPhone 5 to deliver ‘exciting’ September?
More analyst chatter about a smaller tablet, this time from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. In a research note, White said to expect an « exciting » September that would bring a new iPhone as well as a smaller iPad. The sourcing behind that came from « local contacts » within the Taipei supply chain.

May 17, 2012
iPad mini to debut during second half of 2012?
Citing evidence gathered by the firm’s global research team, Barclays analyst Ben Reizes says a smaller, 7-inch version of the iPad was in the works. Reizes also offers up the unusual suggestion that the small tablet would actually live in the iPod Touch category.

May 10, 2012
Latest iPad mini rumor puts price at $200 with 8GB storage
Blog iMore says Apple’s got an iPad mini in the works that will sport 8GB of build-in storage, have a 2,048 by 1,536 pixel 7-inch display, and will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $200 to $250. Citing a reliable source behind this information, the outlet says this device will be in the hands of consumers this October.

May 9, 2012
iPad mini may be in the pipeline, says analyst
Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes considers a smaller version of the iPad a possible addition to the iPod family. « Our global research team still sees some evidence of this product in the supply chain — and we wouldn’t be surprised if it wound up in the iPod Touch category if it indeed sees daylight, » Reitzes said in a note to investors.

May 4, 2012
Who wants an iPad Mini? About one buyer in two
If Apple were to offer a smaller iPad, slightly more than half of those polled by shopping site PriceGrabber said they’d purchase one. The question asked if buyers would be interested in a 7-inch iPad model that cost between $249 and $300. 59 percent of those who responded to CNET’s own poll with the same question said they’d purchase such a device.

April 16, 2012
New iPad Mini rumor: 6M coming in third quarter
A report from Chinese portal Netease suggests Apple’s at work on producing some 6 million units of a smaller iPad model that would be ready to ship by the third quarter of 2012. The outlet suggested the tablet could sell for $249 to $399.

April 5, 2012
7.85-inch iPads said to be kicking around Apple’s labs
An off the cuff comment from Daring Fireball’s John Gruber during a podcast notes that Apple’s got a « shrunk down » version of the iPad in its labs at 7.85 inches with a 1024 by 768 pixel display, but that it’s unclear whether Apple would do anything with it.

One rumor bucks the 7-inch trend, saying Apple's working on something closer to Samsung's Note.

One rumor bucks the 7-inch trend, saying Apple’s working on something closer to Samsung’s Note.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

March 28, 2012
iPad mini to be closer in size to Samsung’s Note?
According to Japanese Apple news and rumor site Macotakara, Apple’s working with LCD suppliers to get a 5-inch panel ready for an upcoming product that will ship next year. That’s according to « a reliable Chinese source, » the site said. That would be two to three inches smaller than most other rumors have suggested for a smaller iPad’s size, but still sport a so-called « Retina Display. »

March 13, 2012
Samsung may have let slip Apple’s iPad Mini plans
In one of the most unusual rumors of the bunch, the Korea Times reported that Apple’s got a 7.85-inch screen version of the iPad in the works for release by the end of 2012. That information comes from an unnamed Samsung official, the outlet said.

March 5, 2012
Is Apple eyeing a 7.1-inch iPad?
Tech blog Venturebeat says that Apple’s shopping around for a 7.1-inch screen for a smaller-sized tablet, down from the much-rumored 7.85 inches. The news came just ahead of Apple unveiling its third-generation iPad, which was full-sized.

March 1, 2012
7.85-inch iPads in line for production
Citing « makers in Apple’s iPad supply chain, » DigiTimes says a 7.85-inch iPad is in its sample stage, with « volume production » set for the third quarter of 2012, suggesting a holiday release. Once again, the site says the move is in response to Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet. The site adds that the tablet would run $249 to $299.

February 22, 2012
Smaller iPad in ‘testing stage,’ says research firm
In a note, Taipei-based market research firm TrendForce alluded to the fact that smaller iPads were currently undergoing testing, with a possible release in the fourth quarter of 2012. « Smaller iPads…are still in the testing stage; whether or not these prototypes will enter mass production remains unknown, » the company said.

February 15, 2012
Apple cooking up 8-inch iPad with help from suppliers
Citing « people familiar with the situation, » the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has been involved with component suppliers to make an iPad in the 8-inch range, roughly two inches smaller than Apple’s first three tablets.

2011

Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire next to the iPad.

Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire next to the iPad.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

December 16, 2011
7.85-inch iPad on track for 2012
DigiTimes says Apple’s on track to launch a 7.85-inch version of the iPad by the fourth quarter of 2012. The move is primarily to fend off competition from Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire, the outlet says.

October 18, 2011
7.85-inch screen samples sent to Apple, report says
Taiwan’s United Daily News reports that Samsung and AU Optronics have sent Apple samples of a 7.85-inch screen, presumably for use in a smaller iPad. The report cited sources in Apple’s supply chain as the lead on that information.

October 12, 2011
‘iPad Mini’ to take on Kindle Fire?
An industry source familiar with the supply chain in Asia tells CNET talk of a 7.85-inch iPad is ramping up.

2010

December 10, 2010
iPad Mini rumors surface again
Reuters says Apple is « preparing new iPads » one of which is « about half the size of the current tablet computer, and will include front- and back-mounted cameras » to make use of Apple’s FaceTime video-conferencing service.

November 6, 2010
About that 7-inch iPad
Citing analyst and industry sources, CNET contributor Brooke Crothers says there’s « a lot of original design manufacturer activity around a 7-inch iPad » or « a 7-inch tablet-like device. »

October 7, 2010
Apple working on 7-inch iPad with Retina Display and 128GB of storage
Taipei-based suppliers told Ticonderoga Securities that Apple has a smaller, 7-inch tablet in the works that features a « micro or mini USB » port, Retina Display, and 126GB in built-in flash storage.

September 24, 2010
Apple’s 7-inch iPad all ready to go
Chinese rumor site Shanzai.com says Apple’s got a 7-inch version of the iPad in the can, and that it will look a lot like Apple’s iPhone 4. The source behind the news was the « social scene in Shenzhen, » the Chinese city where Apple’s hardware manufacturing partner Foxconn is located.

September 20, 2010
7-inch iPad arriving in 2011
Citing supply chain checks, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar says Apple’s working on a 7-inch iPad model with front and back-facing cameras.

August 17, 2010
Apple’s got a 7-inch iPad ready for Christmas
Taiwan-based Economic Daily News says that Apple’s got a 7-inch iPad in the works that will be ready to go by the holiday shopping season. The report goes so far as to say which suppliers are providing which parts. That includes LCD panels from Chimei Innolux and touchscreens from Cando Corporation.

iLounge's mock-up.

iLounge’s mock-up.

(Credit: iLounge.com)

August 4, 2010
7-inch iPad arriving soon
Apple-related news and review site iLounge says that a 7-inch model of the iPad is « substantially finished and ready for announcement either later this year or early in 2011. » Few other details are offered, however.

July 13, 2010
Apple sourcing OLED panels for mini iPads
DigiTimes says Apple’s second-generation will use a 5.6-inch and 7-inch OLED panels by the fourth quarter of 2010. Citing « sources from component makers, » the site says Apple already placed orders for the screens.

April 8 2010
Apple ‘expected’ to launch 5 to 7-inch iPad in 2011
Citing « upstream component sources, » Taipei-based DigiTimes says that Apple has put in orders for 5 to 7-inch versions of its iPad that will hit store shelves in the first quarter of 2011. The result would be a sub-$400 tablet (versus the existing iPad’s $499 starting price) aimed at people who just want to do a lot of reading as opposed to typing, the outlet offers.

2009

September 29, 2009
Apple’s tablet started at 7-inches
In a list of « ten new details on the Apple tablet » iLounge notes that the first version of the iPad was designed with a 7-inch screen, although it « was judged to be too small. » The outlet offered that Apple moved to a 10.7-inch screen for the final design, a spec that was an inch off to the final, first-generation design.

August 4, 2009
Apple eyeing at least 5 different screen sizes for tablet
Now-defunct investment bank Kaufman Brothers told investors that Apple had purchased a bevy of screen sizes for devices ranging from 4 inches all the way up to 12 inches. These displays were purchased by Apple over a two year period, and could have been from anything from samples to production units, the firm said.

Did we miss one? Send it to me using the e-mail me button on the top right of this page and I’ll add it in with a shout out.

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