San Francisco: Apple is working with component suppliers in Asia to test a new version of its popular tablet computer with a smaller screen, US media reported Tuesday.
Officials at some of Apple`s suppliers, who declined to be named, said the company has shown them screen designs for a new tablet with a screen size of about eight inches, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
In comparison, the iPad tablets Apple has launched so far feature 9.7-inch screens, said Xinhua.
A smaller tablet would help Apple broaden its product offerings, and therefore compete better with rivals such as Samsung Electronics and Amazon to maintain its dominant market share.
Latest numbers from market research firm IDC showed that Apple captured 61.5 percent of global tablet market share in the third quarter of 2011, down from 68.3 percent in the previous quarter.
The news of Apple testing a smaller tablet comes as the company is reportedly preparing to unveil a new iPad in early March which is expected to have a similar screen size of around 9.7 inches with the current generation of iPad 2.
But the Wall Street Journal report also noted that Apple, which works with suppliers to test new designs all the time, could opt not to proceed with the smaller tablet.