A smaller, cheaper device would help Apple compete with rivals. Photo: Apple.
Apple dominates the larger tablet market but its current strategy of offering a single-size iPad prevents it from competing for customers looking for smaller and cheaper devices.

Yet the iGadget craze started off with the iPod – a brand which covers products of varying sizes and features to suit different customers and their lifestyles.

To ensure it doesn’t cede a sizeable part of the tablet marker to the Kobo Vox or Kindle Fire Apple needs to return to the flexibility of its iPod range and make devices which fit the users, not expect users to fit the devices.

One potential answer – which fits in with the latest round of the ever returning rumour of a smaller iPad – is to launch a new, smaller, cheaper device which does much that an iPad does but under a different name.

A smaller device which lacked some hardware and features might well deserve a new name in order to be avoid being seen for what it is – a pared down iPad.

And in its list of trademarks Apple has the perfect name – the iBook.

Originally a laptop, the iBook would be a natural brand name for a new, more portable device primarily aimed at reading content from Apple’s iBookstore.

And if Apple could keep the cost down to around £179-£199 the new iBook reader, while still more expensive than the cheap Android alternatives, would be very attractive to those who cannot afford the £400 starting price of an iPad.