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Apple to Launch iPad Mini in Q3 of 2012?

Apple plans to launch a new entry-level iPad tablet in the third quarter of this year, according to a new report.  And it may be significantly thinner than anything we’ve seen so far from the company thus far due to a new touchscreen technology that will make the touch panel slimmer, thereby benefiting the overall thickness of the device.

Citing Chinese-language NetEase, Kotaku reports that the the smaller iPad, commonly referred to as the ‘iPad mini’, the device will cost anywhere from $249-$299 and to “counter attack” upcoming Windows tablets.

Based on prior reports, this smaller iPad would feature a screen roughly seven inches in size—7.85 inches has been specifically mentioned—and would target the smaller tablet market, which includes devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire. According to the report, both Foxconn and Pegatron will be involved in making the device.

It is said to feature the G/F2 technology, with Nitto supplying the key thin-film materials, and Nissha Printing and TPK producing the touch screens, the sources said. Wintek, another touch module supplier for Apple, does not have thin-film touch capacity, the sources addded.

In the past, the iPad Mini was rumored for arriving Christmas which takes place during the fall. However, the rumours of a 7in iPad continue to be viewed with some scepticism, as the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, dismissed the idea: “The 10in screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps. 7in tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad,” back in October 2010.

However, it is believed the smaller tablet from Apple would be awesome. With that in mind, a smaller, 7-inch iPad would fit a lot more easily into a bag, clown pockets or even a standard laptop bag with plenty of space to spare. It also means the device would likely be a lot lighter, allowing you to carry it for longer without discomfort. It’s a lot easier to hold as well. The iPad Mini’s smaller size and lighter body would allow you to at least hold it with one hand whilst reading news, checking your emails, watching movies or playing certain games. Come on, it would be pretty awesome.