A smaller version of the iPad will be less expensive and offer less storage than Apple's full-sized model, but will have the same resolution, according to a new report.
The outlet says such a device is very much in the works and will come in around the $200 to $250 price range. On the lower end, that's less than half the price of Apple's current entry-level iPad model, and $150 to $200 less than the 16GB second-generation model that Apple still sells. That would also overlap with the pricing of Apple's iPod Touch line, which starts out at $199 and tops out at $399 for the 64GB model.
iMore's report adds two other interesting assertions. The first is that the device will only have 8GB of memory. That's half the memory of the entry-level iPad, which has kept the same three storage configurations (16GB, 32GB, 64GB) since the first-generation model. Second, is that the screen will sport the same resolution as Apple's latest iPad at 2,048 by 1,536 pixels.
That second detail is of particular interest given the notion that Apple would want to keep in step with what it calls "Retina Displays" on its iOS devices. These are displays where the pixels are so closely packed together that you cannot pick them out from one another when viewing the screen.
As iMore notes, a 2,048 by 1,536 pixel screen at 7 inches would give the smaller iPad a 326 pixels per inch display, up considerably from the 264 pixels per inch on Apple's latest iPad, and on par with the 326 ppi Apple currently offers on its iPod Touchs and iPhones -- just bigger.
That screen resolution combined with smaller storage could cause a problem though. 8GB on an iPad would fill up mighty fast with HD content, and media-rich games. For instance, many 1,080p movies on iTunes go beyond 4GB a pop. There are also games, some of which have stretched in size in the jump to the new iPad. There could be workarounds for it though, particularly if Apple makes some adjustments to its iCloud infrastructure to add streaming instead of downloading.
This is the latest rumor to suggest Apple would roll out a smaller version of the iPad later this year. A report from the often off Taipei-based DigiTimes in February said a 7.85-inch iPad model was in the works and ready to ship by the "third quarter" of this year. Separately, Chinese portal Netease asserted the same claim just last month. The big difference from both those reports is the price, which was $50 to $100 higher than iMore's suggestion.