Now that we have an official date for the iPad 3 announcement the rumor mill is on fire. Digitimes reports that Apple plans to begin mass production of what is a smaller 7.85 inch iPad during the 3rd quarter of this year.
Now rumors are rumors and we take them as a grain of salt but we do recall the WSJ saying that Apple indeed had been working on an 8 inch tablet.
Makers in Apple’s iPad supply chain have started delivering samples of 7.85-inch iPads for verification, with volume production likely to begin in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest, according to industry sources.
The planned launch of the 7.85-inch iPad is apparently to take on Amazon’s US$199 7-inch Kindle Fire as well as a comparable model from Barnes & Noble, although Apple already took up nearly a 60% share of the tablet PC market in 2011, indicated the sources.