Singapore students use the iPad in a language arts class. Apple's… (Simin Wang / AFP/Getty Images )
Could Apple be working on a device with a 5-inch or 7-inch screen? This question continues to get stirred up with other speculation, like the leaves at the bottom of a tea cup -- and everyone tries to read them.
In today's edition of "As the Apple Turns," momentum appears to be coming out of China with stories attributed to "reliable sources" about the company developing Retina display screens for a smaller tablet.
Macotakara is reporting that 2013 is the year of the pocket-sized tablet and feature resolution of 1,600 by 960 pixels or 1,280 by 960 pixels.
And Eric Jou of Kotaku wrote that Chinese site NetEase is claiming a mini iPad would be released in the third quarter of this year to combat a potential debut of a Windows tablet. The report, which appears in Chinese, puts the cost of these devices under $300, according to Jou.
Talk of both smaller and bigger screens pops up almost weekly. Earlier this month, reports from Korea Times and Venture Beat highlighted the possibility of a smaller screen. And last week, an analyst note started a flurry of speculation about the next iPhone screen growing a smidge to 4 inches.
The genesis of the 7-inch iPad appears to have come from an iLounge report in 2009, citing an anonymous source. Apple had created several versions of the iPad, including a 7-inch model that was dismissed as being too small, according to the iLounge report. (Wired does a good job of tracking the rumor from birth to maturity.)
Apple respectfully declined to comment on rumors.
The current iPad, aka "new iPad," features a 9.5-inch display with 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch.
And with Apple apparently going through a renaming renaissance, one is left to wonder: Would a tablet with a smaller screen be an iPad mini along the lines of the Mac Mini, or would it be an iPad Nano like the watch-sized iPod? Or maybe it'd be an iPhone Maxi.
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