There has been immense speculation over the last few weeks on the launch date of the rumoured iPad mini. Reports in the past have indicated that this smaller tablet will be unveiled alongside the next iPhone aka the iPhone 5. However, a recent report by AllThingsD has stated that sources have informed them that Apple will host a special event to unveil the product and it will take place in October this year.
Author John Paczkowski of AllThingsD states, “Only after the next-generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it’s been working on. That device, which is expected to have a display of less than eight inches, will be uncrated at a second special event, which sources said is currently scheduled for October.”
A recent post by John Grubber of Daring Fireball stated that Apple would host two events in the near future -- one for the upcoming iPhone and the next for the iPad mini. He stated, “I’m thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events. First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there’s another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out. Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional “music event”, exactly along the lines of the events at which they’ve been debuting new iPods for the last decade.”
Though Grubber speculated this fact, the report by AllThingsD seems to confirm this to be true.
An earlier report indicated that Apple would be ramping up production for this smaller tablet with it expecting to produce 4 million units of the same from September. A report by Digitimes stated, “Supply volume of Apple's 7.85-inch iPad is estimated to reach four million units per month starting in September in order to prepare for demand from year-end holidays, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Rumors are circulating in the IT market that Apple will launch its 7.85-inch iPad in October with a thinner screen frame to allow the device to feature a bigger display area than other competing products and will also feature a resolution similar to that of iPad 2.”
The report ends by stating that sources have implied that the pricing of this smaller tablet would be at $299, i.e. more than that of its rivals, the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7. They state that though this is the case, the specs table from Apple would still definitely be able to give them competition.
If Apple is indeed currently mass producing the 7.85-inch iPad, this could indicate that the launch is near. Earlier this year, there had been reports doing the rounds that Apple was testing a tablet with a smaller display, but hadn't decided yet whether to proceed with the production.
It may be really interesting to see if Apple does launch an iPad with a lower budget, as the brand has lost a significant amount of market share to 7-inch tablets. The main competitor is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which has eaten quite a bit of Apple’s share in the tablet market in comparison to other tablets.
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