Ah, the 7-inch iPad rumor. It’s been circling around for quite some time. This time, though, the Chinese news outlet Economic Daily News is reporting that the smaller iPad might hit retailer’s shelves before Christmas and, well, the source could be correct. They have a great track record and accurately reported the iPad‘s launch well before the Stevenote. However, the smaller iPad would need to launch rather soon for it to see successful holiday sales. Perhaps during the iPod touch Facetime event that’s rumored to be right around the corner.
Any later than October and stores will be in full holiday mode and it would be difficult for Best Buy, Walmart, and other retailers to give this new iPad much attention — although it probably won’t need any marketing help from stores. Proper inventory management would be near impossible and the launch would probably be not as smooth as the original iPad saw. If the 7-inch iPad is coming, Apple is also probably in talks with retailers already, coordinating holiday circulars and buying guides meaning leaks are totally possible.
A smaller iPad would likely sell like Devin’s pancakes, though. Nearly every consumer is well aware of the $500 iPad right now, making a smaller and cheaper model nearly an impulse buy if it’s priced in the $300 to $350 range. It could be this year’s hot gift. Of course the Nintendo 3DS might have something to say about that.