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7-inch iPad 2 Mini Arriving for Christmas

The 7-inch iPad 2 has been a rumor swathed in fantasy since long before the 10-inch iPad was actually announced by Apple. But according to a new report, the 7-inch iPad2 is closer to reality than ever before.

The Economic Daily News, a Taiwanese newspaper, reports for a second time seeing a new version of the iPad, one sized between the iPod Touch and the current iPad. What’s more, the newspaper is says this tablet, with a 7-inch touchscreen display, will be ready for market by Christmas.

Similar reports have been increasing in frequency over the last month. The basis of the rumor is component contracts for manufacturers to make screens that wouldn’t fit any current Apple products, namely 7-inch LCD screens that happen to use the same IPS display technology prominently featured in the iPad.

If this is true, it means Apple will be trying to fill another niche in the tablet market midway between smartphones and full tablets. A medium sized tablet could be cheaper and more portable. The recently released Dell Streak, with a 5-inch screen is the perfect example.