It has strayed from Steve Jobs' path
Jobs' Mob is about to release a new tablet which Steve Jobs said would be “dead in the water.” When the iPad came out Jobs said that it had to be 9.7 inches inches and anything smaller would be “dead in the water.”
Then Amazon released its cheap and cheerful and much smaller “Fire” and cleaned Apple's clock, and now it seems that Apple is thinking “I'll have some of that.” Now it seems Apple's component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad. The tablet will be in the shops by Christmas.
Two of the people said that the tablet's screen will likely be smaller than eight inches. The iPad's screen measures 9.7 inches, unchanged since the first model was released in 2010. Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet. Microsoft's Surface tablet, expected to debut this fall, has a 10.6-inch display, larger than the iPad. Microsoft's Windows Chief Steve Sinofsky said that it will be "priced like comparable tablets."
It looks like Jobs' Mob is responding to the the Google Nexus 7 tablet, which is a direct response to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. But Amazon has apparently already factored in the Nexus 7s and is readying the next generation 7-inch Kindle Fire 2s to be delivered on August 7.
According to the China Times Amazon has already ordered 2 million 7-inch Kindle Fire 2s from Quanta, for early August delivery. Which sounds about right for the rumored new Kindle Fire announcement on July 31st. The new Kindle Fire will have a metal frame, with displays coming from LG and touch panels supplied by TPK. Amazon is expected to come up with a 10- and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire fairly soon too.