John Gruber: Apple is working on a smaller 7.85-inch iPad

5 April, 2012 - Killian Bell
iPad Mini mock up

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, known for his reliable sources when it comes to Apple rumours, has revealed that the Cupertino company is “noodling with” a smaller, 7.85-inch version of its iPad, which is expected to compete with smaller tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0.

During The Talk Show podcast with Den Benjamin, Gruber confirmed that “numerous” sources had told him about a smaller iPad, which, he says, will be just like the existing 9.7-inch model, only smaller. The conversation begins around the 1hr 19min mark:

“Well, I don’t know. What I do know is that they have one in the lab…a 7.85 inch iPad that runs at 1024×768… it’s just like the 9.7″ iPad shrunk down a little bit. Apps wouldn’t need to be recompiled or redesigned to work optimally on it. It’s just the iPad smaller.”

Of course, as Gruber points out, Apple works on all sorts of prototype devices that actually never make it to market, so there no guarantee that this 7.85-inch iPad will ever see the light of day. Gruber also notes the famous Steve Jobs quote when he proclaimed that he was just as proud of the products Apple hasn’t made as he was of the ones it had.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumours of a 7.85-inch iPad, though. MacRumors notes that speculation surrounding the device has been surfacing from Apple’s Chinese supply chain for months, and that the company isn’t just playing around with prototypes; it’s also taking things a step further by negotiating with suppliers over possible production.

That suggests this isn’t just one of those devices that will forever remain in the Cupertino dungeon.

Would you like to see a smaller, 7.85-inch iPad?

[Image CiccareseDesign]

About the author

Killian Bell is a freelance journalist based in Worcestershire UK. In addition to writing about all things Apple, he's one of the co-founders of the football site TitleTalk. You can follow him on and Twitter.