It’s not even January and we are already hearing iPad rumors on an almost-daily basis. Yesterday we told you about the purported “leaked” iPad 3 microphone component that recently surfaced on the web.

While admittedly “leaked” parts are rarely anything to get excited about, the gossip we have for you today is quite interesting. Apparently, the word on the street in China is that Apple is looking to get into the 8-inch tablet game sometime next year…

DigiTimes reports:

“Apple is likely to launch a 7.85-inch iPad prior to the fourth quarter of 2012 in addition to a new iPad scheduled to be released at the end of the first quarter, according to sources in the supply chain.”

The Taiwanese publication cites the source, saying Apple has already ordered 7.85-inch panels from both LG Display and AU Optronics. It believes the company is making the smaller slates to maintain its market dominance in the face of growing competition.

While we have our doubts about an 8-inch iPad, there are a couple of reasons why the rumor could hold water. First off, you don’t have to look any further than Apple’s MacBook line to see that the company understands the power of variety.

Second, a smaller tablet would mean a cheaper starting price point. Like it’s recently done with the iPhone, Apple could be looking to release a smaller, cheaper iPad so it can cover both the top and bottom half of the tablet market to help it stay on top.

But the bottom line is this: we’ll believe when we see it. We still remember how badly we all got burned with the iPhone 5 rumors.

  • Hell yeah

  • Anonymous

    If they delayed the iPhone 5 launch because they didn’t want to fragment the platform with a bigger screen (there were rumours of that), then I doubt they’d release an 8 inch tablet. Also that thing in the picture looks like a really crappy android tablet.

    • You say this looks like a crappy android tablet. So if this does get released, than apple will be copying other companies that have smaller tablets. I wonder if others will sue apple if they release this. It would serve them right for trying to patent a shape.

      • Anonymous

        That would be absolutely amazing. 🙂

  • Dan

    I would not, there’s a reason I didn’t buy a kindle (besides the fact it doesn’t sell in Canada)

  • Anonymous

    these guys have it all wrong. the 8 inch screen is for the upcoming iphone 5. it will have an 8 inch screen. it will be the best iphone ever.

    • no no no, my sources tell me that apple are buying these 8 inch screens, then putting them all together for their upcoming TV lines

    • Anonymous

      Are you for real, why the f**k would any1 want a mobile phone with an 8″ screen !!

  • I really hope not! I’m not buying the iPad 2 this year because I want to wait for the iPad 3! I hope it’s not like this!

  • iPad as we know it is and always will be 10″. I don’t entertain these iPad rumors at all.

  • I agree. I don’t thinking Apple woud risk the fragmentation. And they rightfully shouldn’t. I use my iPhone on the road and the iPad when I’m home. Plus I use the iPad for art mostly, a smaller screen is not going to help.

  • It look like from china.

  • I like the iPad but it’s got flaws ..like you can not sync your iPhone to it like a netbook / laptop
    So this I think will be great for people who want a device like the iPad but with out the bulk ..like me..

  • Anonymous

    Is this really a step forward for the iPad
    I’ve just bought my ipad2 and I’m loving it
    I can’t see why anyone would buy a smaller iPad
    If it was a bigger iPhone yeh
    But a smaller iPad I’m not so sure

    • Anonymous

      What is your point, a smaller iPad is the same thing as a bigger iPhone but with call capabilities, what is the fascination with huge screens on a mobile, the key word there is mobile, wtf would you want to carry round a phone for that was heading towards the size of a tablet !!

      • Anonymous

        Why would you want a smaller iPad ???

  • Anonymous

    Wtf im being moderated for no reason.

  • Anonymous

    That would be the first Apple product that I would actually stand in line for!