Just when I was about to conclude that the 7-inch tablets are dead on arrival, Apple throws a curve ball. As per rumors, of which we have plenty about Apple, there is a 7.85 inch iPad in the works and the rumorists have baptized the new contraption as iPad Mini.

iPad Mini would be cheaper than the regular iPad and is perfectly poised to counter the Kindle Fire onslaught. Kindle Fire, despite its shortcomings, is ruling the cheap tablet segment this Christmas. Kindle Fire’s next Christmas would be testing as that’s when Apple plans to launch its latest invention. iPad 3 is still on the cards for early 2012.

Would iPad Mini be a success?

That should have to be a resounding yes. Not because a 7-inch Kindle Fire is a success but because a 7.85 inch iPad will be a success. What iPad Mini has and Kindle Fire didn’t is the iOS ecosystem. With half a million apps between iPhone and iPad, iPad Mini hits the ground running from day one. There will be a lot of buyers for iPad Mini.

Would the iPad apps run on iPad Mini?

iPad Mini’s initial success depends on how many apps are available from day zero. Android tablets failure and Kindle Fire’s success can be attributed to the number of apps available out of the box.

Apps designed for iPad might need little tweaks to run on iPad Mini. iOS developers were very flexible to move swiftly and provide apps for both iPhone and iPad. They would be doing the same thing for iPad Mini too. Besides, iOS is where the money is so they better.

Who comes up with sizes like this?

7.85 inches? Who comes up with numbers like this? It must be the foam prototypes Jon Ivy makes and probably the 7.85 inch one made the cut. When Apple made the 9.7 inch iPad, a lot of prototypes were made and discarded. The 9.7 inch just felt right in Steve Jobs hands.

None of the existing tablet makers had a tablet in that size. The closest I can recall is from Binatone HomeSurf which had a 8-inch screen. Samsung is trying really really hard to position its Galaxy Note as a in-between device and trying to create a market there.

Between a 4-inch iPhone, 7.85 inch iPad Mini and a 9.7 inch iPad, Apple seems to be covering all the bases without cannibalizing its product line.

Would a 7.85 inch tablet feel right? I will know it, when I see it.

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