Apple prides itself as the tech world's foremost innovator and trendsetter but that could change soon as the company is reportedly set to issue a smaller iPad edition, the very product ridiculed by the late Steve Jobs.
But the changing market dynamics allegedly prompted the world's biggest firm, in terms market capitalisation, to finally shift gears and counter what its co-founder and former CEO had previously preach - consumers would never need tablets smaller that the 9-inch plus iPad.
Since Mr Jobs' died October last year, the world has welcomed the arrival of mini-tablets, starting off with the phone-tablet Galaxy Note, its screen only measuring over 5-inch, and a slew of other almost pocket-sized slates that started creeping into the dominance currently enjoyed by Apple in the segment.
As of March this year, the same order is in effect, with iPad attracting more than 50 percent of the global total sales of tablet but with Google, Microsoft and Samsung all ramping up their efforts to possibly create profitable zone within the new market that Apple itself had created when it first introduced the iPad.
The Cupertino firm can't help but to notice and despite the obvious opposition from its iconic former leader, it appears that the circulating rumours about the impending release of a mini-iPad took some semblance of truth.
Citing alleged confirmations from Apple's Chinese suppliers and assembler, The Wall Street Journal reported early this week that production lines in the country have been configured for mass production of the smaller iPad sibling.
The report from the U.S.-based publication picked up from swirling speculations that the mini-iPad would have 7-inch screen with virtually the same features and power that were first seen with its bigger brother.
But the overall offering of the new device, bloggers said, would logically be stripped down a few notches in order to achieve the ideal and competitive starting price tag of no more than $300 per unit.
The amount should tussle it out well with the identical $199 sticker price carried by Amazon's Kindle Fire and the recently launched quad-core 7-inch tablet by Google, the Nexus.
Tech research firm IDC said on Thursday that Apple's apparent re-navigation actually makes sense as much of the world in the present context had developed predilection for what the firm called "a more mobile culture."
A more portable iPad with relative affordability, according to IDC, could turn out as the product of the year, if indeed it will be released later this year as rumours suggested, and probably even the years after that.
"A mini-iPad ultimately grows the market ... (and will) put a hurt on all Androids," Agence France Presse (AFP) reported the research firm as saying.
The move alone, analysts agreed, could further boost Apple's already robust financial stature starting later this year and in the initial months of 2013 as the mini-iPad is anticipated to hit the market in the succeeding months that the American firm is said to also release the iPhone 5 and the latest version of the regular-sized iPad.
It'll be a no-lose situation for Apple as experts predicted that with two iPad sizes on its product shelf, the company could not go wrong and give Android devices tough times ahead without haling them to court.
And the rumours actually do not end on the mini-iPad. The new iPhone reportedly will emit images from a larger screen size and likely with the same Retina Display that Apple had deployed with the third edition of iPad.
Obviously the plan is to snuff the life out of the Galaxy S3, which this year afforded Samsung moments of awes that previously only Mr Jobs can attract.
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