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7-inch iPad on the way?

For a company that doesn't actually talk all that much to the press, Apple certainly manages to keep a very high profile. A big part of the reason is the constant speculation and rumour about new products.

Right now, what everyone's getting hot under the collar about is the possibility of a 7-inch iPad. (That's a 7-inch screen; the current one's a little bigger than 9 inches.)

There's plenty of reason such a model would make sense: it would still be a fair bit bigger than the iPhone (the current iPad is really much bigger, as this picture shows), but much more portable than the current model. The iPad's biggest current rival, Amazon's Kindle, comes in 7- and 9-inch flavours, and new tablets such as the Dell Streak are coming in at 7 inches too.

So what kind of spec are we talking, here? Well, the latest rumours suggest that the 7-inch would be a fair jump up from the current model, with 512MB of RAM, like the iPhone 4, and a new A9 processor in place of the current A4. The rumours also say it'll have the same resolution as the current 9-incher, packing more pixels into a smaller screen and getting the iPad somewhere near the awesome pixel density of the iPhone 4.

Of course, this could all be nonsense. One thing's for certain, though: we can expect somesort of update to the iPad some time next Spring.

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