Apple could launch a new, smaller version of the iPad this year, according to new reports.

Rumors from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal suggest that the smaller iPad, not to be confused with an iPhone, would have a diagonal measure of seven to eight inches. The current iPad is 9.7 inches by diagonal measure.


The "iPad Mini" would be a cheaper alternative to the bigger tablet that is designed to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7.

So what does this mean for gamers? Assuming the new iPad would support the current iPad's entire software library, which boasts quite a few games that can't be played on your iPhone or iPod Touch (like Kingdom Rush, one of my favorites of the year, which was iPad-exclusive until very recently), this could be an affordable, versatile handheld gaming device. And it could make for some tough competition for the resurgent Nintendo 3DS and struggling PlayStation Vita this holiday season.

Bloomberg: Apple Plans to Launch Smaller iPad This Year (Update: and the WSJ agrees) [Gizmodo]