The Wall Street journal reports that Apple’s upcoming iPad mini has now entered mass production with component suppliers in Asia. According to two people familiar with the matter, the device will have a 7.85-inch LCD display — as previous rumors have suggested — and it will be priced to compete with cheaper tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
Apple Inc.’s Asian component suppliers have started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the current iPad, people with knowledge of the situation said, as the Silicon Valley company tries to stay competitive against rivals such as Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. that are offering smaller, less-expensive alternatives to the iPad.
Two of the people said the smaller tablet will have a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display with a lower resolution compared with the latest iPad model that came out in March.
WSJ’s report follows a rumor from Japanese blog Macotakara, which claimed earlier this week that the iPad mini had entered production at the new Foxconn factory in Brazil. Apple is expected to send out invitations for an iPad mini announcement on October 10, suggesting the grand unveiling could happen around October 17.
A recent study undertaken by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that cheaper Android tablets are currently having a massive impact on the iPad’s market share. The 81% stake Apple’s tablet held in 2011 has already been reduced to just 52%, and this study took place before Google released the Nexus 7, and before Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire HD.
Source: Wall Street Journal