Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Apple rumored to order 10 million iPad minis built for Q4

It's small, but Apple is apparently thinking big. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that sources in Apple's Asian supply chain have indicated that the electronics giant has ordered 10 million iPad minis for the fourth quarter of 2012.

That target is about twice as many tablets as Amazon reportedly ordered for its upgraded Kindle Fire for Q4. The iPad mini is seen as Apple's answer to the Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7, low-priced and smaller-screened Android tablets.

Analysts have said that if Apple could price the iPad mini low enough, it could potentially kill demand for Android tablets. However, with the new iPod touch priced at $299, the latest estimated price point for the still-unannounced device is believed to be $349, high enough to give Android tablets breathing room.

Despite that lower price - or whatever price Apple decides on - it's believed that Apple has not skimped on the device's hardware and aesthetics in an effort to solidify its tablet lead. Topeka analyst Brian White said:

"Apple did not skimp on the aesthetics of the much anticipated ‘iPad Mini.’ In fact, we believe the ‘iPad Mini’ could outshine the new iPad in terms of how the device feels in a consumer’s hands.”

Apple is believed to be planning to send invitations to an iPad mini event on Oct. 10. To be clear, that is the expected date the invitations will go out, not the day of the event.

Based on past history, the event would be held on Oct. 17, with the device to ship on Oct. 26.

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