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CNET reported in October that Apple was looking into an iPad with a 7.85-inch screen. And reports emanating from the supply chain--the host of companies that make components for the iPad--have continued unabated. The most recent coming from the Wall Street Journal.
Naysayers immediately point to Jobs' comments way back in November 2010, when he seemed to summarily dismiss the notion of a smaller tablet.
"Apple has done extensive user testing and we really understand this stuff...There are clear limits on how close you can place things on a touch screen, which is why we think 10 inch is the minimum screen size to create great tablet apps," Jobs said at the time.
But that was then and this is now. "Sometimes it's a timing issue. At the time, I agreed with what Steve Jobs said about a smaller sized device because the world was still getting used to the idea of what a tablet was," said Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch, a firm that has contacts among Asia-based suppliers.