A 7.85-inch tablet that runs 250,000 iPad apps could make a popular Christmas gift
Apple rumor sites, fed by leaks from the company’s Asian component suppliers, have been speculating for months that Apple would launch — just in time for the holiday selling season — a smaller version of its best-selling iPad tablet computer, this one with a 7.85-inch (rather than a 9.7-inch) screen.
Having watched Amazon AMZN , Barnes & Noble BKS and Samsung create a market for tablets and e-readers in 7-inch range, Apple executives reportedly overcame Steve Jobs’ famous resistance to any tablet smaller than 9.7 inches. (He said 7-inch tablets should be shipped with sandpaper for users to sand their fingers down to one-quarter size).
If the price were right, a smaller tablet that could run 700,000 iOS apps — 250,000 of them customized for the iPad — would be, in the words of Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu, the “competition’s worst nightmare.”