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Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 06:15 am PT (09:15 am ET)

Rumors of new 7-inch iPad from Apple persist

Questionable rumors of a new iPad from Apple sporting a 7-inch screen continue to surface, with another Taiwanese publication adding fuel to the fire Tuesday.

Chinese-language newspaper Economic Daily News reported Tuesday (via Google Translate) that Apple plans to launch a second-generation iPad with a 7-inch screen. The report claimed that the original, 9.7-inch iPad is too big and heavy for many consumers, and the new model will cut weight down from 700 grams to 500 grams.

The report said that the new iPad will also use an in-plane switching LCD display for wide viewing angles. The touchscreens will reportedly be supplied by Chi Mei and LG, while AUO and Sintek will provide the digitizers.

The paper also suggests Pegatron or Compal could join Foxconn in assembling the hardware.

In early 2009, the same publication indicated that Apple would release an iPhone nano that year. Of course, such a device never came to be.

Rumors of an iPad with a smaller form factor have persisted for months, but in recent weeks they have picked up considerable steam. Last week, another report from Taiwan suggested that the new iPad will have a Cortex-A9 processor and a screen resolution of 1,024-by-768 pixels.

On Monday, it was alleged that indications of a next-generation iPad are currently found within the source code of iOS 4, Apple's mobile operating system that powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Despite claims from the Economic Daily News that the iPad is too heavy for consumers, Apple's touchscreen tablet has made a major impact on the market since it first launched in early April. This week, Asus, one of the world's top netbook makers, announced its plans to reduce shipments next quarter due to the success of the iPad. Apple's new device sold 3.27 million units in its first three months of availability.