Blog » 7.85 inch... oh no

The patent trial of the century is in full swing, with The Verge providing play by play reporting. Phil Schiller’s testimony is fascinating, revealing that yes, of course Apple does market research like any other company. But it’s depressing to hear suggestions of a 7.85” iPad entered into evidence.

ipad-mini-concept

Gruber thinks it’s a fine idea, but I’m not sold. If they’re doing this to compete at the $200 level, why not just cut the price of the iPad 2? That would require zero changes to everything except the sticker price. If it’s a size issue, that 7 inch devices are the magical “sweet spot,” why didn’t they launch the iPad at that size? I’m sure Apple did extensive testing and research with all screen sizes and aspect ratios. I really like the iPad’s dimensions. And they already make a more portable version: it’s called the iPhone! (Or iPod Touch)

Here’s the bottom line. Let’s say Apple releases a 7.85” iPad this year that’s compatible with all iPad apps. Same 1024x768 resolution, just smaller, for $200 or so.

Who would buy it?

Anyone who can’t afford $400 for an iPad is going to freak out when they see the cost of iPad apps. Assume you’re already an Apple guy, with iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, as I am. Is the iPad mini for you? Or is it like the iPod mini: a bad choice in terms of gigabytes per dollar, but “better” because it’s a little smaller and comes in multiple colors? I don’t see myself buying one, but I already have a maxed-out iPad 3. Even worse, imagine if Apple doesn’t announce an iPad mini this year. Would they be lambasted further? Is that even possible?

September 12 is going to be fun on the bun.