AppleInsider reports today that Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has been weighing in on the current iPad mini rumour and counter-rumour debate, with Wu saying that as far as he is concerned, when it comes to the possibility of Apple releasing a smaller version of the iPad, itâ€™s simply a matter of when, not if. Wu has been hearing rumours of a smaller iPad since as far back as 2009, before even the first iPad was launched, when he said Apple was looking into screen sizes as small as 4 inches and as big as 12 inches. Wu says that it would make sound business sense for Apple to release a smaller version of the iPad in order to head off competition from Amazonâ€™s Kindle Fire, Googleâ€™s unnamed 7-inch tablet, as well as the forthcoming Windows 8 tablets. According to AppleInsider, Wu thinks that when Apple does release a smaller version of the iPad, that will then become the entry-level model, taking over from the iPad 2, which has just had its price lowered to $399. Despite all that, unlike some of the other sources that have been pontificating recently about the possibility of a 7.85-inch iPad, Wu does not think that the release of a smaller iPad is imminent, saying â€œexact timing is difficult to predict.â€ Source: Release of 'iPad mini' from Apple viewed as 'question of when, not if'