iPad Mini Moves Into Production: Report
To Mini or not to Mini? A report in The Wall Street Journal says Apple is moving into full production of the iPad Mini after months of rumors and speculation.With the launch of the iPhone 5 behind it, Apple is turning its attention back to the production of a smaller iPad tablet, informally referred to as the iPad Mini. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which quoted unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation, Apple’s Asian suppliers have begun mass production of the smaller tablet. Two of the sources claimed the device would have a screen size of 7.85 inches and a lower-resolution display than the 9.7-inch high-definition Retina display found on the full-size iPad. The sources also told The Journal that LG Display of South Korea and Taiwan’s AU Optronics have begun production on the device’s LCD panel. This is not the first time rumors about the production of an iPad Mini have surfaced. Although Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away last year, had famously derided the concept of a 7-inch tablet, a slew of low-priced competing devices from Amazon, Google and others could prompt Apple to offer consumers a device in the $200 range. The full-size iPad currently starts at $499, while Amazon’s recently released 7-inch Kindle Fire tablets start at $159 and Google’s Nexus 7 tablet starts at $199.
Apple may not have to price the iPad Mini that low, according to the results of a survey earlier this year from Pricegrabber, which found that 52 percent of respondents would consider purchasing an iPad mini for approximately $250 to $300. Reduced price and size, a Retina display, 3G connectivity and an ultra-thin body were among the most hoped-for features on the iPad Mini, and 64 percent of respondents said a price point lower than that on the iPad would be a top consideration.