Apple may have legitimately initiated production of the long rumoured iPad Mini in both China and Brazil. According to a report picked up by The Verge courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, production of a 7.85-inch screen-toting mini iPad is allegedly underway.
We first predicted that an iPad Mini may emerge alongside the iPad 3 and then again with the arrival of the iPhone 5, but Apple kept schtum on any hint of a down-scaled tablet. This time, two informants have confirmed that LCDs from both AU Optronics and LG Display are now under manufacture, measuring 7.85-inches across. Meanwhile in Brazil, component manufacturing is said to be underway at Foxconn’s South American facility.
The initial outlook is that Apple are indeed producing a smaller iPad. The reasoning behind this being that thanks to products such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Note and Google Nexus 7, a mid-range screen size has become more appealing to consumers; a comfortable size for being able to use whilst holding a device in one hand.
The likes of the Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD and Nexus 7 all offer excellent small scale tablet experiences with high resolution displays and low price-points. Apple won’t undercut these potential rivals, but rather place an iPad Mini as the premium option, under the assumption that consumers already understand the benefits of owning an iOS product over the competition, albeit at an increased price point and with a marginally larger form factor.