Smaller, bigger tablets to go head to head

July 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

NEW YORK, July 16 (UPI) -- Apple Inc. may be going smaller while some U.S. competitors are looking to go in the opposite direction in the tablet computer wars, industry analysts say.

Apple is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad with its 9.7-inch display, several people with knowledge of the project told The New York Times.

The "mini-iPad" is expected to debut this year, the sources said.

Amazon is said to be developing a new version of the Kindle Fire with a larger display to compete more directly with the current iPad, the Times reported.

Apple's strategy of offering a smaller device is intended to keep customers who want different sizes tablets firmly wed to the iPad product family, analysts and technology industry executives said.

A smaller iPad could appeal to people who do not carry their iPads with them because they find them too large and heavy, said Leslie Grandy, a former Apple manager who is now a consultant to start-up companies.

While a device with a 7-inch screen is likely too big for pants pockets, she said, it would be a good fit for women's purses.

"I really do feel like this is the sweet spot for [Apple]," she said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
One arrested after Philadelphia college lockdown
Boehner delays House vote for new speaker
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr
Snowden: U.S. won't respond to offers to serve prison time
FDA approves new treatment for advanced lung cancer