Sources in Taiwan have apparently confirmed that Apple will be launching a 5 to 7-inch version of the iPad next year which will apparently be focusing on those customers who are more interested in being passive users.
Mingchi Kuo, a senior analyst at Digitimes Research, cites "upstream component sources" and says that the device will be pegged at $400 or less, with a launch date happening as early as Q1 2011.
The iPad Mini (or Nano iPad or Mini Me Pad) would have roughly the same screen size as an Amazon Kindle and may possibly even feature some significant differences aimed at making sure that it doesn't compete aggressively with other Apple products.
Digitimes doesn't provide with any more details and to be frank, we are quite dubious about whether Apple will launch such a product, unless of course, it zaps the iPod Touch completely out of the picture which would effectively mark the start of the end for the iPod family.
it is not the first time that we're hearing of such a rumour although the one they were referring to was a voice-enabled mini version of the device, otherwise known as the iPhone.
We don't believe that Apple will be releasing a smaller version of the iPad anytime soon unless of course it starts slowly but surely phasing out the current iPod Touch. The 64GB iPod Touch is currently on sale for $399 which coincidentally matches the expected price of the device.