It's another day which means it's time for another iPad rumor. The latest rumor to hit the mill comes from the Wall Street Journal which claims Apple is testing a smaller, 8-inch iPad.
Asian suppliers told the WSJ that Apple has showed them designs for a compact iPad with a screen resolution that matches the iPad 2. Apple is supposedly working with LG Display and AU Optronics on the panels for this smaller device. The report notes that Apple is merely testing this design, and it may never move beyond the concept or prototype stage.
This rumor shouldn't be surprising to the veteran Apple user. We've been talking about the possibility of a smaller iPad ever since Apple launched the tablet in 2010. Even Steve Jobs, during a 2010 earnings conference call, confirmed Apple tested different sized tablets, but decided to go with the 9.7-inch because it provided the best experience.
That was then and this is now. Now, Apple is the market leader and everyone is waiting to see what the company will do next to improve its tablet lineup. Many people believe a smaller form factor is Apple's next best move; others say it would lead to hardware and software fragmentation. Recently, our own Erica Sadun weighed in on this subject and discussed both sides of this argument. You can read her analysis and chime in with your own in the comments.