iPad Mini now in production, says Taiwanese newspaper

iPad Mini now in production, says Taiwanese newspaper

Summary: Rumours of a mini version of Apple's popular iPad tablet have been circulating for months, but Taiwan's United Daily News reckons they are now entering mass production at Pegatron

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TOPICS: iPad, Apple, Tablets
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There's been no shortage of rumours about the so-called Apple iPad Mini, which is a smaller 7.85-inch version of the popular iPad tablet. However, speculation has just been given renewed life by a report in one of Taiwan's Chinese-language newspapers, United Daily News, which was picked up by Engadget's Richard Lai.

The UDN story reports that, according to Yuanta Securities, Pegatron has a contract to manufacture iPad Minis, which means that Hon Hai (aka Foxconn) will no longer be the sole supplier of iPads. Foxconn is, of course, under some strain meeting orders for Apple's iPhone 5, as shown by the forced labour of bussed-in "work experience" students on the assembly lines, according to China Daily. (Following publicity, any unwilling students were quickly allowed to return to their studies.)

iPad
Is a smaller version of the iPad on its way?

UDN also notes that "the iPad mini will adopt a new generation of connectors" — presumably the new Lightning port introduced with the iPhone 5.

Finally, it says that "iPad mini can be shipped in September", though this does not indicate a launch date. Apple will want to build up a stockpile of several million units to satisfy initial demand.

Although not all Taiwanese sources can be considered reliable, The Wall Street Journal reported on 5 July that "Apple Inc.'s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad."

The idea that Apple would never do a tablet smaller than the iPad has already bitten the dust. One of the disclosures from the Apple vs Samsung trial in the US was an email from Eddy Cue, one of Apple's senior staff, saying: "I believe there will be a 7-inch market and we should do one." That was dated 24 January, 2011.

Today, there clearly is a market for 7-inch tablets, and more than a dozen companies sell them, including Samsung, HTC and RIM. Both Google and Amazon have low-cost 7-inch tablets that appear to sell in volume, with the Nexus and Amazon's Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD models. These are eroding the iPad's market share. However, an iPad Mini seems likely to reverse that trend, with production starting at 5 million per month. 

 

Topics: iPad, Apple, Tablets

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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54 comments
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  • The big question...

    Is it 4:3 or 16:9?

    That's what I want to know.
    dsf3g
    • It must be 4x3 aspect ratio!! No other option

      16:9 is fantastic for a large plasma screen mounted on the wall, but in no way is the ideal ratio for a small hand-held device. 4x3 is an established ratio with centuries of books, pictures, paintings, paper, etc. to back up it's appeal.

      The majority of Android tablets start out on the wrong foot when they sport a 16:9 screen, let's hope Apple once again makes the right move by offering the better option!
      camcost@...
      • Isn't it just another big ipod touch model?

        Remember your first reaction to the ipad? Giant ipod touch. This one is a little smaller, but still a big ipod. Who cares? As the form factor gets larger we should expect a lot more utility and performance than ios devices can deliver. We need a real OS that is extensible and uses real peripherals.

        Hopefully Windows 8 tablets will show what could be done, because there does not seem to be any innovation coming out of Apple.
        Schoolboy Bob
        • Why Windows?

          Little Schoolboy,
          Why would you get excited about Windows?
          Was Windows ever a good operating system? It was terrible for it's first ten years and finally evolved into a somewhat decent system.
          Why would you question Apple's innovation when innovation doesn't seem to be anything of importance to you?
          camcost@...
          • Apple's innovation? Lately, they've just been following the leaders,

            those being Samsung and Google and Windows and Nokia and others.

            "Me too" is not innovation. "Me too", however, is good enough to keep the Apple fanatics interested, like the iPhone 5 has demonstrated.

            You really should look up the meaning of "innovation", because, you can't point to anything that Apple has done lately and call it "innovative".
            adornoe
          • You say that as if Apple wasn't awful for forever too

            Let's face it, Apple was biting the dust until they brought back Steve Jobs.
            Aerowind
          • Why Windows? Let me tell you why Windows.

            "Why would you get excited about Windows?" Because their new OS is a step up from their previous OS's and now it's optimized for tablet computers so you can get the best of both worlds out of one OS.

            "Was Windows ever a good operating system?" Sure looking back now it was a bad OS but was Mac OS all that better in the '80s & '90s. Every time you look back at an OS from over a decade ago you think to yourself "I was using that". Sure you get one OS out of the bunch that's still pretty good but it's rare.
            dtourond
        • Re: "Hopefully Windows 8 tablets..."

          "Hopefully this version of Dimdows Phone..."
          "Hopefully Microsoft..."

          Microsoft fanbois live in perpetual hope, don't they? Though it's not like they have anything else left...
          ldo17
        • Pretty much

          I've never been a big fan of the iPad because one it's nothing different than the iPod Touch except for a bigger screen. And I like my iPod because I can fit it in my pocket and take it everywhere. Obviously you can do the same with the iPad but you'd want to get a case for it.
          dtourond
      • Mmmm

        I'd say Apple's recent release of the 16:9 iPhone 5 belies that judgment. In my opinion, 4:3 is a great aspect ratio for a larger device (like a 10" iPad) but phones and 7" tablets make more sense at 16:9.
        dsf3g
    • 4:3

      If I were a betting man, I'd go with 4:3 at 1024x768.
      ajo1979
      • Yeah...

        I suspect you're right. And we might see the 7.8" iPad mini as the replacement for the $399 iPad 2 (though I expect to see the iPad mini go for $350.00 or so).
        dsf3g
    • 60 : 9

      I would love to see 60 : 9 screens. Why should we have only boring 3:4, 16:10, 16:9, etc screens. Let's have something revolutionary. Just imagine having a screen that is like a long grocery bill or giant checklist or imagine watching 4 movies at once side by side. Such tablet would be awesome. It would require pants with really big pockets though but in the name of revolution I am ready for pants with really big pockets!
      paul2011
      • That would be called the Apple "iMax", with screens to immerse the user in

        whatever is being viewed. ;)
        adornoe
        • But if

          apple did release it, you know it would be the best tablet in the world ever.
          Little Old Man
          • Yeah, but after waiting for the others to innovate it, and then, Apple

            would take the credit for "the best tablet in the world".

            In that respect, Apple would have to change the name from "iMax", to "iCopied".
            adornoe
    • Re: The big question...

      Considering the latest Iphone has copied Android phones by going 16:9, the Ipad must now copy Android tablets in the same way.
      ldo17
    • That's a good question

      I'm hoping for 16:9.
      dtourond
      • Re: I'm hoping for 16:9.

        The trouble that is, it would leave the existing full-size Ipad as the odd one out, the only one still shipping with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

        Cue rapid upgrade to Ipad 4, anybody?
        ldo17
        • There are 4:3 android tablets as well???

          .
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