Report: Apple Suppliers Have Begun Production of Smaller iPad

Unnamed sources say the device could launch October 17.

On Wednesday, numerous media outlets ran a fresh round of rumors related to a smaller version of the iPad, often called the "iPad Mini." Although Apple has not commented on the rumors, some seem very credible.

According to The Wall Street Journal's Lorraine Luk, "Asian suppliers for Apple Inc. have started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the current iPad, executives at component makers said, as the Silicon Valley company tries to stay competitive against tablets from rivals such as Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. The smaller tablet will have a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display with a lower resolution than the latest iPad, which was released in March, two of the people said."

Chris Burns at SlashGear blames iPad case manufacturer Cygnett for some of the rumors. "This week it appears that the iPad mini – a device not yet confirmed by Apple – has had details leaked by none other than accessory makers Cygnett in a couple of cases released to a storefront in Australia," he wrote. "What we're seeing here is a case that seems to confirm several of the details that we've heard about before on the iPad mini. First, the name – iPad mini will be the name of the device if these cases are legit, and they do appear to be. Second, the case is 20 cm long by 13 cm wide, 9 inches diagonally. The case is also approximately 1 cm deep."

And The Guardian's Alice Philipson added, "Apple could unveil the new device in two weeks, on October 17, just a week after Amazon releases the Kindle Fire in the UK. The tablet is also tipped to go on sale on November 2, but it is unclear whether this will be in the UK or just the US."

Earlier in the week, Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt reported similar rumors. "According to our source, who asked not be named, there appears to be some truth to the widespread rumors that Apple is preparing to launch a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad -- often called the iPad mini or iPad air and usually described as having a 7.85-inch screen," he wrote. "What our source adds is the specificity of a date: The press, he says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10."

Tags: Apple, tablet, iPad Mini

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