Let the rumors fly:
Apple is internally testing the first material update to its iOS 4.0 mobile operating system against a handful of new devices, including next-generation iPod touches, an iPad revision, and an “unknown” product, AppleInsider has discovered.
…most intriguing, is a previously undiscovered mention of a mysterious device listed only as “unknownHardware.” Although the configuration files tag this device with a unique Apple product ID of 20547, it’s textual descriptor is similarly listed as “Unknown- Add device descriptor info for this device.”
Much as I’d like one for The Boy™, the mystery device is almost certainly not the much-discussed 7-inch iPad. Why? Because that smaller screen (the current iPad is 9.7″) creates two many problems problems.
Shrink the pixel count along with the screen size, and you get all kinds of app compatibility issues — as anyone who has ever run iPhone apps on the big iPad screen can attest. If you hate that pixel-doubling effect, wait’ll you get a load of the pixels-reduced-by-a-third effect.
Alternately, you could pack the smaller screen with the same number of pixels, which would look really, really sharp — just like the iPhone 4. But that would be a costly undertaking, defeating the purpose (presumably) of selling a 7″ iPad for less money than the current model. If iSupply and others are right, Apple already “enjoys” smaller profit margins on the iPad than on most anything else they sell, so it’s doubtful why they’d want to introduce a product that would cannibalize iPad sales for even smaller margins.
And, if for no other reason, Apple won’t sell a 7″ iPad because Steve hates SKUs.