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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has told Pocket-lint that it considered a number of different sizes for the iPad mini before settling on the 7.9-inch display that it comes with.

While Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, said jokingly on stage that the size was chosen to enable people to remember that the company sold a 9.7-inch iPad and a 7.9-inch iPad, the real reason is that the new size is actually the best for this smaller form factor.

The Apple iPad mini has gone on sale today around the world, with the company hoping it can emulate the success of the original iPads with a smaller version to take on the Google Nexus 7, among others.

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Rather than opt for a 7-inch tablet though, Apple has gone for a slightly bigger 4:3 ratio screen that measures 7.9-inches. It believes the extra real estate will benefit users hoping to enjoy iPad apps on a smaller screen, while still being considerably bigger than a 7-inch or 4-inch device.

Apple has previously said that the 4:3 ratio is better suited for a tablet experience because people not only use it with two hands, but also constantly switch orientation from landscape to portrait. In contrast, the iPhone 5's 16:10 ratio screen is designed to be used with one hand and that has impacted on the screen size and shape.

Pocket-lint will be publishing a review of the iPad mini in the coming days, once we've had more time to test it fully.

We will keep you posted. 

Writing by Stuart Miles. Editing by Adrian Willings.