iPad Mini orders received in China

It would appear that sources have confirmed orders coming in from Apple to one Taiwan-based manufacturer for the next generation in iOS device known as the iPad Mini. This of course is not the first we've heard of such a product, and though it's been common knowledge for some time now that Steve Jobs himself said there'd never be an Apple tablet smaller than the classic iPad, but Netease has reported that both Foxconn and Pegatron have received orders to begin construction on a new breed of iPad fitting somewhere in-between the iPhone and the current iPad in any iteration. Could Apple be moving to the next generation where lower prices on the original iPad will no longer cut it?

It's extremely doubtful that Apple would feel the "need" to create a new product at this point when both the iPhone and the iPad are selling better each time a new iteration is released in essentially the same dimensions as each previous generation, but there it is – the rumor persists. Now we're seeing the latest info being that this smaller version of the iPad will also contain a lower cost right out of the gate: $249 to $299.

This latest report also notes that orders will be ready to ship by the third quarter of this year, 2012. Does that seem realistic to you? We'll go ahead and let you decide, but for our part, we'll keep expecting more emphasis on the rest of the Apple line of mobile and not-so-mobile devices for the rest of these 2012 quarters. Have a peek at the post Apple + Valve = OS X Gaming Push to see what's likely a much more realistic hypothesis.

[via MIC Gadget]