Would a mini iPad make any difference to mobile commerce?

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Rumors of a smaller, 7 inch display are mounting as retailers and consumers wonder what Apple will offer next.

If there’s one thing that can be said about Apple, it’s that it never provides much information – if any at all – about its mobile commerce strategies, meaning that it is always surrounded by rumors.

The latest predictions about its offerings are about a mini iPad version, and they are refusing to go away.

This product forecast has come to the point that the industry is fairly certain that the company is preparing to launch a notably smaller version of its tablet computer, and that while almost all of its specifications and features will remain the same – including the screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 – it will come in a much smaller price tag. It is expected to cost between $200 and $250, as opposed to its current retail price of $500. The only thing that should be different about it will be its basic storage size, which will fall to 8GB from 16GB.

At least, that’s the latest iRumor…

Assuming that it is true – and the company hasn’t released any official statement about its next step in mobile commerce – there will be many different elements about this new device that individuals could find quite appealing. For one thing, the price is an obvious advantage. In terms of cost, it would allow an Apple product to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which also has a 7-inch screen and is selling very well.

However, Apple is in a very different place than Amazon, as the latter sells only its tablet and e-reader, but does not have an iPhone or iPod Touch, for example. Therefore, with all of the other smaller-screen and less expensive choices that Apple has to offer, it has yet to be seen whether anyone will want the smaller display size tablet.

The company had previously considered releasing a mini iPad with a 7-inch screen, but at that time, Steve Jobs made it clear that he wouldn’t even consider the notion, and explained to investors that this type of device had nothing to do with reaching a price point, “because we don’t think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen.”


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