Rumour has it that Steve Jobs was fiercely opposed to the launch of a smaller version of the iPad and that his death paved the way for such a beast to be put into production.
According to a report by Taiwan-based Economic Daily News (echoed by Japanese website Macotakara), a smaller version of the iPad, possibly an iPad 3 mini, will debut in the third quarter of 2012.
The newspaper says that AU Optronics and LG Display will provide the screen (a 7.85-inch part) with other suppliers including Radiant Opto-Electronics and Forhouse, for the all important backlight module; Renesas Electronics for the driver integrated circuit as well as Toshiba for the NAND flash memory.
An analyst, who remained anonymous, told Cnet last year that Apple as "showing increasing interest in making a small tablet".
The question remains as to why would Apple choose a 7.85-inch model as compared to a 7-inch or 6-inch one.
The rest of the competiion (HTC, Samsung or Viewsonic) has opted for a 7-inch and 10.1-inch set up, which means that the latter is at least 44 per cent bigger (when it comes to diagonal size) compared to the former.
In comparison, a 9.7-inch screen is only 23 per cent bigger than a 7.85 model which in real life means that they may look similar in size.