It’s time to face the facts. The iPad mini is coming. After speculation has abounded for most of 2012, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is telling its component suppliers to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet.
According to those lovely anonymous sources, the suppliers are preparing to produce the smaller iPad in mass quantities in September.
While the reports have pegged the new iPad’s screen to be somewhere between 7 and 8 inches, look for it to measure in at the exact 7.85 inches that my colleague A.T. Faust III speculated on earlier this year. The Wall Street Journal said that LG Display Co. and AU Optronics Co. will be supplying the smaller screen.
With mass production in September, the new tablet could be launched right along with the new iPhone in October.
The report also comes on the heels of information released by Bloomberg on Tuesday that also stated the iPad mini will be released sometime before the end of 2012 but not feature a high-definition screen like the current 9.7-inch iPad.
Even though I was originally skeptical of the iPad mini, my thoughts have quickly changed. And at this point, I think it’s an almost certainty, just like our own Bryan M. Wolfe recently said.
While Apple basically created the tablet market with the introduction of the iPad in 2010, Amazon proved with its Kindle Fire that there is a market in the lower end of the spectrum. And with Google and Microsoft jumping into the tablet game, I can’t see Apple willing or able to concede one bit of its market share lead.
Does Apple need to compete in the low-end market? Or are consumers happy with the current iPad?