The late Steve Jobs was adamantly opposed to the idea of a 7-inch slate and called them "tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad." Due to his untimely death, Jobs never had a chance to see Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire device rapidly rise in ranks to become the world's second best selling tablet behind the iPad, but if he was alive today, would he change his stance?
Not likely. Apple hasn't skipped a beat since Jobs passed away, and while there have been rumors of a smaller sized iPad device (insert iPod touch joke here), the Cupertino company may have found another way to compete with lower cost (and physically smaller) tablets. According to DigiTimes, Apple is expected to unveil an 8GB version of its iPad 2, which is half the amount of memory found on its entry-level 16GB iPad 2. It's expected to sell for between $350 and $400, which is still significantly more than Amazon's Kindle Fire ($199) and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet ($199 and $249), but it's also a full-sized slate.
As for the iPad 3, DigiTimes claims Apple will unveil 16GB and 32GB models during its scheduled press event on March 7, 2012. There are tons of rumors related to the iPad 3, but one that seems the most likely is that it will sport a higher resolution screen, possibly a Full HD QXGA panel with a 2048x1536 resolution.