Apple has ordered more than 10m iPad mini units in anticipation of significant demand for the smaller, cheaper tablet, sources among suppliers claim, with a Q4 2012 launch expected. Several leaks have indicated production of the 7.85-inch slate is indeed underway, with Digits‘ tipsters suggesting manufacturers in Asia are supplying double the number components that Amazon has required for its Kindle Fire tablet production.
The ambitious numbers – which would suggest Apple’s expectations for iPad mini demand are considerably higher than Amazon predicts for its own Android tablets – come after rumors of component shortages and talk of supply constraints following launch.
Exact specifications of the iPad mini haven’t been confirmed, though the tablet is believed to sit in the middle ground between the new iPad and the iPod touch with its 7.85-inch display. Unlike the so-called Retina display of the latest iPad, the iPad mini is said to use the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the first two generations of Apple’s 9.7-inch tablet.
That would still look reasonably crisp at 163ppi, and present no issues for iOS developers in changing screen sizes. Instead, the version of the app for the original iPad or iPad 2 could be used, rather than the doubled-resolution Retina version.
According to other chatter, Apple is readying a mid-October event where the iPad mini will make its debut, with invitations to that event tipped to go out on Wednesday this week. A refreshed new iPad is also rumored to be included at that event.