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Is Apple building a smaller iPad?

The question has been asked once more: is Apple planning to release a five-inch or seven-inch mid-sized tablet running iOS? 

Rumours of such a device, which would be sized between Apple’s current iPhone 4S and iPad 3 products, have been stoked up again thanks to reports that Japanese manufacturers are readying five-inch Retina displays for a device in 2013.

The translated report, from Japanese blog Macotakara, claimed that the resolution of the LCD screen will be 1,600 x 960 pixels (800 x 480 by legacy majour) or 1,280 x 960 pixels (640 x 480). The information apparently came from “reliable sources” in China.

However, sites such as AppAdvice claim that a five-inch iOS device makes less sense than if Apple were to launch a seven-inch model.

That’s because existing apps would automatically translate to a 7.85-inch screen, whereas apps would need to be modified to fit a five-inch screen.

The question now is, do consumers want an Apple device that fits between the company’s two existing products? Or is Apple being canny and plotting a device that could steal the huge market for Nook and Kindle products?

It’s also interesting to note that Samsung has just announced its sales figures for the Galaxy Note, which features a five-inch screen, selling three million handsets in just four weeks since release. 

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