AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
The detail comes from sources in Apple's upstream supply chain who spoke with DigiTimes. They indicated that the 7.85-inch iPad will take on comparable smaller tablet models like the Amazon Kindle Fire or Samsung Galaxy Tab.
"Although the 7.85-inch iPads may not adopt Retina displays as in the recently released new iPads, the 7.85-inch model is likely to use IPS/FFS panels from LG Display and probably AU Optronics (AUO)," the report said.
It was suggested that the 7.85-inch iPad model will be targeted toward the sub-$300 market, with Apple pricing the device at either $249 or $299. Apple's current low-end model is the 16GB iPad 2, which starts at $399 for the Wi-Fi-only model.
Reports claiming Apple is at work on a smaller iPad model have picked up considerable steam in recent weeks. This month alone it was said that Apple has inked a deal with AU Optronics for displays for the device, while production is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012.
The source for many of the rumors related to a 7.85-inch iPad has been DigiTimes, a technology industry publication based out of Taiwan that has a hit-or-miss track record with respect to Apple-related rumors. But last month The Wall Street Journal chimed in and indicated that Apple was working with suppliers to test a new iPad model with an 7-inch screen size.
Though reports of a smaller iPad continue, many have dismissed the rumored device as a product that Apple will never actually sell. In October of 2010, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs slammed rivals who were building 7-inch tablets, saying the screen size was too small for users. He said that manufacturers of those devices would need to ship sandpaper with their 7-inch tablets so users could file down their fingers to the point where they could hit smaller targets on the screen.