Following its story last week that suppliers to Apple had kicked off production of a smaller iPad — the so-called ‘iPad mini’ — the Wall Street Journal is now reporting Apple has ordered more than 10 million units for the fourth quarter of this year. The figure comes from Asian component suppliers to Apple — also the source of last week’s iPad mini story.
The paper quotes the suppliers as saying that Apple’s order for 10 million initial units of this smaller iPad is roughly double the size of the order placed by Amazon for its Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter. If Apple is planning to launch a smaller iPad, it will be a direct competitor to Amazon’s small form-factor Kindle tablets and also Google’s Nexus 7.
Apple hasn’t confirmed any of the myriad reports, rumours and speculation it’s planning to make a smaller iPad, so the existence of the device remains unconfirmed. However the WSJ has a good record for sourcing genuine pre-production leaks so evidence for the ‘iPad mini’ continues to mount. The WSJ’s previous story suggested the device will have a 7.85 in screen (vs the 9.7 inch display on its current iPad) and a lower resolution than the third generation iPad — meaning it might not include Apple’s Retina Display technology.
We’ve reached out to Apple for an official response on the WSJ report and will update with any reply.
Last week we also reported an Apple investor’s assertion that the company on October 10 would be sending out invitations to a press event to launch the iPad mini, with the device due to ship on October 17.