A 7.85″ IGZO iPad May Be in Apple’s Cards

It’s that time of the year for another miniature iPad rumor to come full-force. The long-speculated smaller iPad that would expand the lineup, accompanying the current 10.1″ tablet, could sport a 7.85″ IGZO display if new rumors are to believed.

By the end of 2012, we could see the unicorn 7.85″ iPad with a Retina Display that may potentially one-up the much-praised 10.1″ Retina Display by incorporating Sharp’s IGZO display panel technology. Short for indium gallium zinc oxide, IGZO could pave the way for a thinner, lighter, more durable iPad with an even better display thanks to its superior thin-film transistor design.

From a company that has outright stated how 7″ displays are too small for a proper tablet experience, 7.85″ would be a worthwhile compromise that makes the smaller iPad much more portable while still giving it more screen real estate than the average Android tablet affords. As shown in the picture on the left (mobile users, please switch to desktop view to view the size mock-up), a 7.85″ iPad could be a little over half the size that iPad owners are currently accustom to.

This is not the first time an iPad IGZO panel nor that an iPad Mini have been reported. March’s third-generation 10.1″ iPad was rumored to include the panel tech at one point, although Apple reportedly could not continue with plans due to production limitations. Price point for the iPad Mini has held at $249-$300, although we would not be hesitant to jump to conclusions that Apple could meat the industry standard of $200 that the Kindle Fire and Google/Asus Nexus 7 have set as a value precedent.

We would dismiss the report as being totally plausible for the reason that an iPad Mini may be necessary for Apple to compete with all major segments, which focus around price and display size, of the consumer tablet market. After all, a smaller screen size would provide Apple with more flexibility to lower pricing, giving iPad the upper-hand to reign over a growing market of $200-$300 tablets.

[via Unwired View]