MarketWatch reports that component suppliers in Asia are working with Apple to test a new, smaller tablet PC.
Though none of the sources were prepared to go on the record, designs for a device with a screen of roughly 8in and a resolution similar to that of the iPad 2 have reportedly been circulating. AU Optronics and LG are thought to have produced test displays for such a device.
Rumours of a smaller iPad or iPad mini tend to do the rounds every once in a while but as far as we can recall this is the first one to emerge this year.
However, the latest report from MarketWatch does tally nicely with a rumour we heard back in December from Digitimes, which said that an iPad with a 7.85in screen would launch at some time in 2012. That report also names the same two companies – AU Optronics and LG – as the display manufacturers.
There is still a big question mark over a smaller iPad, though – the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs once declared that 9.7in – the screen size of all iPads to date – is the “minimum requirement” for a good tablet computing experience.