It’s only a few short weeks till the tentative announcement of the Apple iPad 3, which is expected to be unveiled at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on the 7th of March, 2012. Reports have also surfaced that the next generation tablet from the Cupertino company will feature a high resolution display, along with 4G LTE capabilities. Though all loose strings appear to be almost tied, the rumour mills are still abuzz with the brand expected to release a tablet with a smaller form factor, as opposed to the 9.7-inch size found on the present generation model.

A few days back it was reported that an analyst, Ezra Gottheil with Technology Business Research had stated that Apple was readying to launch a 7-inch tablet. The latest bit of information about Apple launching a smaller form factor comes from a report by the Wall Street Journal in which they state that Apple was testing screen designs, which featured a size of around 8 inches.

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Will we see an 8-inch iPad?

The report states, “Officials at some of Apple's suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif., company has shown them screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around eight inches and said the company is qualifying suppliers for it. Apple's latest tablet, the iPad 2, comes with a 9.7-inch screen.”

Apple, in the past were believed to test their products featuring a number of different screen sizes and they tend to remain prototypes and never see the light of day. The same thing was also believed in the past, when rumours were floating around that Apple would launch an iPhone mini. However, this smaller sized iPhone did not surface at all and in all probability a 7 or 8-inch iPad may not, either.

On the other hand, if Apple does intend to launch a smaller iPad, it would certainly be a force to reckon with, as tablets with a 7-inch form factor, though popular, have not stood out as much as the 9.7-inch iPad. In fact, no other tablet from any other manufacturer has managed to attain the success of the iPad. So by launching a 7 or 8-inch tablet, Apple could attain dominance over the form factor they have not yet ventured in, which is below the 9.7-inch display size.

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