With the launch of the iPhone 5 out of the way, attention is slowly shifting to another mobile device by Apple, the highly anticipated and yet mythical iPad mini. It was recently reported that Apple will send invites for an iPad mini media event on October 10, and may host the event for the product a week later. Production of the 7.85-inch tablet is already underway in the brand’s Brazilian factory, a report by Macotakara states.
According to a related report by CNET, “No other details on parts of physical form factor or offered, short of that the same source says the unit is missing a microphone on its backside, a rumored design cue currently found in Apple's iPhone 5. Apple has been rumored to be splitting up production of a smaller iPad between two manufacturers, Foxconn and Pegatron. Foxconn began assembling iPhones in the industrial town of Jundiai earlier this year. The factories there are considerably smaller than Foxconn's Chinese operations, and initially worked on notebooks, monitors and other electronics for competing technology companies.”
Production underway in Brazil
With production being underway, we can expect this diminutive tablet to be launched by early November, if Apple does have an event by October 17.
A recent report by Digitimes stated, “AU Optronics (AUO) will ship approximately 400,000-500,000 panels for Apple's reported 7.85-inch iPad in September, according to industry supply chain sources. AUO was not available for comment but sources said that approximately 400,000 panels per a month will be produced from the company and as many as 600,000 from LG Display. The sources pointed out that the supply chain already started supplying a small volume of 7.85-inch iPad in June, with a monthly volume at around several hundred thousand. AUO's estimated shipment share along with the amount of OLED panels it is producing will help the company make up for losses it has incurred over the last seven consecutive quarters, added the sources”.
This report by Digitimes backs an earlier report by Bloomberg that revealed that Au Optronics and LG Displays were chosen to produce the panels for the upcoming 7.85-inch tablet. Bloomberg had stated, “Apple Inc. will use screens from AU Optronics Corp. and LG Display Co. for a smaller version of the iPad to be released in October, according to four people familiar with the plans. TPK Holding Co. and Yeh Cheng Technology, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, will supply the lamination coating for the device that will measure 7.85 inches diagonally, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public. Current iPads measure 9.7 inches.”
Bloomberg went on to state that a smaller iPad order could boost sales at AUO, Taiwan’s second-largest flat-panel maker, with Apple selling five times as many iPads as MacBooks. LG Display and TPK are already suppliers for Apple’s handheld devices, which include the iPhone and iPad. Yeh Cheng, a maker of touch-screen sensors and lamination, was spun off from Chimei Innolux earlier this year and sold to Hon Hai, said Chimei Innolux spokesman C.H. Lin. That division began supplying sensors for the iPad 2 last year