iPad Mini In Mass Production – Report

Component suppliers in Asia are apparently readying Apple’s new seven-inch tablet

Apple’s component suppliers have begun “mass production” of a smaller tablet known as the ‘iPad Mini’, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

People with knowledge of the situation have said that suppliers in Asia were preparing for the new tablet, with LG and Taiwan-based AU Optronics starting production of the LCD screens for the device last month.

Reports yesterday suggested Apple was going to announce the existence of the as-yet-unconfirmed device on 17 October, with a possible release date of 2 November touted.

iPad Mini Rumours

Rumours of a smaller version of the iPad have intensified in recent months as competitors such as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire have made an impact in the lower end of the tablet market, threatening Apple’s dominance in the sector.

The iPad Mini is believed to have a 7.85-inch display, smaller than the standard 9.7-inch screen, and is aimed at consumers who might find the iPad too heavy or expensive. The move would mirror the approach that the company has taken with the iPod, which is available in a number of sizes and capacities, but contradict the belief of co-founder Steve Jobs that a larger screen is necessary to ensure a good user experience.

It is believed that the device will be priced between $249 (£155) and $299 (£185). The screen will apparently have a lower resolution than the retina display of the latest iPad, allowing Apple to maintain its profit margins without jeopardising sales.

The iPad currently commands 60 percent of the global tablet market, with the latest version released earlier this year.

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