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March 01, 2012

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The smaller iPad sounds stupid. It makes much more sense to make a larger iPod Touch. Speculation is that the iPhone will grow to 4+ Inch screen. An iPod Touch with a 4.8-5.25 inch Screen could put the fear of god into the Kindle Fire and could be priced at or below the Fire's price point. The two options allow for ether the 4.85 inch 1024x768 (current iPad resolution) or they could up the resolution to 1.5 times the current iPod at 5.25 inches and keep the 329dpi display resolution.

Both of these would fit in a pocket but could still be used for browsing, gaming, and even book reading. The price point could stay near the $200 point and range upto $350, leaving room for the step up to the iPad 3 at $500.

Compare this to an 8 inch tablet at the $350-$400 price point. Still not pocketable and not competitive with the Fire. Who buys this device?

I could be wrong....but I'm not.

A smaller iPad could go into cars to manage nav, Internet radio, Pandora and other entertainment options. If they put the current dock connector on the long side, the new iPad mini would fit current docks. For auto use, however, the dock is likely to have different identifiers for dashboard vs rear-seat docks so it can enable/disable functions. The dash docked iPad won't play video or games while the vehicle is moving. If there are multiple iPad minis in the car the dash iPad can find and control the others.

The magnetic ID for docking patent would come in handy for this. It could also be used to "key" the iPad minis to specific docks, making them useless if stolen because they refuse to charge in an unfamiliar dock. Apple has a patent for dock-based security as well.

If Apple starts ramping iPad mini production in Q3, then they probably have an automaker partner or three lined up to offer the docks integrated with the cars.

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