iPad: the 5- and 7-inch versions coming 2011 claims analyst

We haven't even had the UK launch yet, but that hasn't stopped rumours starting to surface that Apple is already working on a smaller version of the iPad for sale in 2011.

No we aren't talking about the iPod touch, but a 5- or 7-inch version.

The rumour comes from Digitimes Research whose senior analyst Mingchi Kuo, believes that's what's on Apple's mind.

Digitimes is reporting that "Kuo, citing talks with upstream component sources, said Apple's smaller-size iPad will be priced below US$400 and will target the highly-portable mobile device market and consumers that focus mainly on reading and do not have a high demand for text input".

Take it with a pinch of salt for now would be our recommendation, but it would bridge that middle gap between the iPad  and the iPhone, for those not content with bridging the gap between the iPhone and the netbook.