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Smaller iPads May Hit Stores This Holiday Season

New rumors have surfaced indicating that Apple may release smaller versions of the iPad this holiday season. While the sources remained unnamed, supposedly Taiwan-based component manufacturers are spilling the beans, revealing that 5.6-inch and 7-inch OLED versions might be in the works.

According to the sources, Apple recently placed the new iPad orders for Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 with the two fore-mentioned models and the 9.7-inch version included. The two smaller versions are slated to focus on the eBook reader market while the larger model will continue to adhere to the multimedia junkies.

Digitimes Research senior analyst Mingchi Kuo pointed out that the rumors should be "taken with a pinch of salt," as Samsung, the largest OLED maker, is currently unable to produce enough panels for its own products let alone outside companies like Apple. Kuo also said that Compal may not want Apple's orders, as margins are far too low.

So what gives? Why would Apple produce smaller version of the iPad when it already has the iPod Touch? One theory is that Apple wants to go up against Sony and Nintendo in the portable gaming market. There's also speculation that the so-called iPod Touch 4G could actually be the 5.6-inch iPad mini.

Guess we'll find out in September.