Since way before the announcement of the iPad we've had rumours of a smaller-screen device. Many people were surprised when Apple decided on the 9.7in format of the iPad and some, myself included, feel it is a tad too big to carry around. What's more, it is too big to act as a comfortable book reader, something which it is clearly designed to do.
Now we have iOS4 and, of course, the higher-resolution screen of the iPhone 4, the iPad is beginning to look and feel decidedly dated. It cannot be long before it gets a facelift which, without doubt, will include a front-facing camera.
In the meantime, though, DigiTimes on Tuesday reported that Apple will launch a second-generation iPad as early as September. They are said to be adding OLED-screen 5.6in and 7-in models to the existing 9.7in LED display device. Sources have said that the smaller devices will target the e-book reader market while the larger model will continue to attract multi-media fans.
If these rumours are true I shall be mightily pleased and will certainly defect from the current big iPad to one of the smaller devices. Given that I already rely heavily on the tiny screen of my iPhone 3GS, including for reading books, an in-between device will be ideal for me. I do get tired of carrying the current iPad around; and I definitely find the screen too big for book reading. About the only comfortable way of reading is to use iBooks' two-page landscape mode. In portrait more, either with iBooks or the Kindle app, the screen is simply too large. I want something the size of a paperback, not the Encyclopedia Britannica.