20/04/2012 18:24 | By Verity Burns, editor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

iPad Mini rumour round-up

We pull together all the rumoured specs, price and release date for the iPad Mini.

iPad Mini? (© Apple)

It's a rumour that has been swirling for almost as long as the iPad has been on our shelves, and a rumour Steve Jobs dismissed vehemently just a year before his death. But still the talk of a smaller iPad Mini perseveres, with various sources always claiming to know something new about it. We've pulled all the whispers together in one place so you can join in the speculation as to what we might be able to expect from the iPad's smaller sibling.

It'll have a 7-inch screen
To rival the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, Amazon's Kindle Fire and the rumoured Google tablet, the iPad Mini is said to have a 7.85-inch screen and the same resolution screen as the iPad 2 at 1024 x 768.

Orders have been made
Rumours out of China have suggested that motherboard manufacturer Foxconn and design and electronics manufacturer Pegatron have received orders for a smaller, and are working to have 6 million devices ready for launch.

It could be here this year
Chinese-language news site NetEase has claimed the iPad Mini will be launched in the third quarter of the year - meaning, if correct, it would be announced sometime between July and September. Could this be an effort to detract attention from the Windows 8 tablets expected towards the end of the year?

But then again, it might not...
Analyst Shaw Wu disagrees, saying he doesn't sense the release of an iPad Mini is imminent, but also confessing that "exact time is difficult to predict."

The analysts are convinced
Shaw Wu from Sterne Agee has said that the launch of an iPad Mini is a "question of when, not if" saying it makes "strategic sense for [Apple] to expand its tablet family". Back in 2009 and before the launch of the first iPad, a research note from Kaufman Bros. suggested Apple had been testing out screen sizes of 4, 7, 9, 10 and 12 inches.

It'll cost under $300
Most rumours agree that the iPad Mini would have to be under $300 to compete, with most settling on an expected price tag of between $249 and $299. This would sit it comfortably cheaper than the iPad 3, which has a current American price tag of $499, but still more expensive than the Kindle Fire at $199.

Steve Jobs wouldn't be happy
In 2010, Steve Jobs was asked about a smaller-screened iPad, which he panned, saying it would be "dead on arrival", adding "this size isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion".

Has Apple changed its mind? As usual, we'll have to play the waiting game to know for sure. We'll keep you updated with any more rumours that appear, but in the meantime, let us know if you'd like a 7-inch iPad Mini in the comments below, or over on Facebook.