Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Bros., quotes manufacturing sources in Asia that some major providers of iPad components (including touchscreen chip designer Wintek Corp, battery maker Simplo Technology Co Ltd and cover producer AVY Precision) are ramping up for production in the first quarter of 2011. According to the sources, the manufacturers are splitting their efforts between the original, full-size iPad and a smaller, camera-equipped version.
As recently as this past October, Steve Jobs publicly pooh-poohed the notion of an "iPad Nano," insisting the smaller screen real estate wouldn't do the iPad experience justice. Then again, Apple has been known to publicly denounce rumors that end up being fact when the products actually debut. Wu's take? "Having different sizes expands the market and makes it appeal to more people."