Mockup by CiccareseDesingn

In recent months, the increasingly unreliable Digitimes seems quite confident that “Apple is likely to launch a 7.85-inch iPad.” recent report from the publication in December claimed a 7.85-inch iPad would begin production in Q2 2012 with a launch for the fourth quarter following a “new iPad” (presumably iPad 3) in Q1. The reports keep surfacing today with Digitimes pointing to a report from United Evening News and Oled-Display referring to a “Samsung Securities” document from December that mentions a 7-inch iPad.

Starting with the Samsung document, the company claimed Apple is planning to launch a new 7-inch “iPad mini” in Q3 after the release of iPad 3 in Q1:

Following the success of its iPad 1 and iPad 2, which have together achieved sales of 55m units, Apple plans in 1Q12 to launch the iPad 3 and in 3Q12 a new 7-inch product temporarily referred to as the iPad mini. The company is reportedly aiming to sell more than 100m iPads in 2012, and plans to use higher-resolution IPS panels in the iPad 3…

Next, we have the report originating from United Evening Standard that, according to Digitimes and a rough translation, claimed Apple is ordering 7.85-inch panels from AU Optronics and LG Display while working on the project with assembler Pegatron instead of Foxconn.

While it is more than possible that these 7-inch panels are for an iPod touch “Extreme” or maybe something else entirely, The Wall Street Journal confirmed in February that Apple showed screen designs to suppliers for an 8-inch device. The report noted Apple “works with suppliers to test new designs all the time” and may not “proceed with the device.”

We also know how Steve Jobs felt about the prospect of a 7-inch tablet. At a Wall Street Journal analyst conference call, Jobs famously outlined his reasoning for why a 7-inch tablet “isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps.” He also said 7-inch tablets would be DOA. Steve’s full quote is below:

So how do you feel about a 7-inch device from Apple?

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