Tech news website AllThingsD says Apple will announce a new iPad model this October, following the release this month of an updated iPhone.
Multiple news sources say the new model will be called “iPad Mini” and sport a screen somewhere between seven and eight inches in size.
Built with a 10-inch screen, the iPad has been the world’s best-selling tablet computer since its debut in 2010. But manufacturers, including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Google have found a growing market of users who want more portable tablets with smaller screens.
Oddly enough, Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs went on record in October 2010 to say that Apple wouldn’t develop a seven-inch iPad, adding that tablets that size were “dead on arrival” because of their small screens.
Amazon may announce new Kindle this week
Apple isn’t the only company looking to beef up its tablet computer offerings.
Amazon.com has scheduled a press conference for Thursday, during which the online retailer is expected to announce updates to some of its Kindle e-reader devices.
Though Amazon hasn’t officially detailed what it will be discussing this week, the rumor mill has been churning for months with reports from multiple sources that the website will soon unveil a new Kindle Fire.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire, an e-reader/tablet computer with a seven-inch screen, saw decent sales following its initial release in 2011.
FAA to reconsider in-flight electronics ban
The Federal Aviation Administration announced Aug. 27 that it is forming a panel this fall to study whether or not portable electronics can be safely used during flights.
The current government policy forbids the use of electronics during takeoff and landing, under the assumption that radio waves emitted from portable devices could interfere with airplane equipment.
“With so many different types of devices available, we recognize that this is an issue of consumer interest,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in an FAA press release.
Regulations banning cellphone use will remain in effect and will not be reconsidered, the FAA said.