The rumor of a miniature version of the iPad just refuse to go away and now sample screens for 7.85-inch mini iPad have allegedly been delivered for testing, DigiTimes reports, but it has missed the mark a couple of times on Apple so take this with an extra pound of salt.
The production of the mini iPad is said to kick off in the third quarter of 2012 the earliest. If Apple is indeed planning a smaller iPad, it could compete with the kinds of the Kindle Fire which has lowered the 7-inch tablet entry point to $199.
A new, 7.85-inch iPad would go against Steve Jobs clearly voiced opinion that anything smaller than the 9.7-inch display it chose would be too small. This would also affects apps that would need to scale differently to accommodate to a new smaller display and another resolution.
Still, this amazing persistence of the rumor for a smaller iPad could be telling. Even if it’s not ready by Q3 2012, we wouldn’t be so surprised to learn that Apple has been testing a smaller device all this time.
At the same time, Apple has confirmed an iPad-related event for March 7th, so stay tuned.