What will Apple call a smaller iPad?

There has been lots of speculation around the possibility of a smaller
iPad that’s on the horizon. In all likelihood it will be between 7-8”
(with many predicting 7.85” exactly). If you haven’t read John Gruber’s
piece from this
week
, it’s
required reading. While I’m not in a place to speculate on the new
iPad’s existence, I do want to throw my hat in the ring and predict its
name.

First, I think iPod-inspired nano or mini monikers are out (Sorry Dan
Benjamin
, no iPad Jr. either). Those
names came for entirely new product lines with distinct features and
branding. I don’t think this iPad will be that way. Apple seems to want
to unify the iPad brand which is exactly why they went with the new iPad
when it launched in March. They are going for unification, not division.

I believe where we should look is to their computers, specifically the
MacBook Pro. For years, Apple has branded their computers by the line
and screen size with the specific model being something like 13-inch,
mid 2009[1](#fn:p27311398789-fn1)^. When you go to the Apple Store
online you click MacBook Pro and then chose your screen size. Try it
for
yourself.

It seems to me that they want that kind of simplicity across all of
their product lines, especially where computers are involved. Since we
all can agree that iPads are more closely related to computers than
iPods I think that’s how they will move.

So if the new iPad is introduced, I expect the matrix to look something
like this:

  • iPad (7-inch)[2](#fn:p27311398789-fn2)^: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
  • iPad (3rd generation): 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

That’s how it could be initially. When they update to newer iPads, they
will stick to iPad (7-inch or 9-inch, 4th generation). I don’t know if
they will move the 7-inch iPad up to 4th generation or not, but it seems
likely to keep things consistent across their product line.

If Apple does in fact release this new iPad, one thing is for sure: it
will sell like hotcakes no matter what it’s called.


  1. In fact, when they launched the 13-inch Pro in June 2009 that is
    exactly what it was called.

  2. One interesting thing to note on the MacBook Air is that Apple
    rounds down their screen sizes. The 11” Air has an 11.6” screen yet
    they call it an 11”. That’s why I’m guessing that the smaller iPad
    will be called 7” instead of 8”.


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