The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has placed an order on ten-million panels for the iPad mini, indicating that the company believes the miniature tablet will be a very succesful product.
Quite a bit is already known about a product that doesn't officially exist yet. That product is the rumored upcoming iPad mini, a smaller version of Apple's iPad tablet. Sporting a screen of approximately 7.8 inches, the smaller iPad is believed to be a competitor to other small and inexpensive tablets on the market, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire.
Today, The Wall Street Journal reported from Taipei that Apple placed an order for ten million panels to use in the manufacturing of this product. This report follows a similar one from the Taiwanese tech website Digitimes, which has a mixed reputation for the validity of its reports.
Purported leaked photo of the iPad mini, by Sonny Dickson
If the news is true, Apple obviously believes that the iPad mini will sell well. That is not a far out conjecture, judging by the success of other comparatively miniature tablets, and the high volume sales which always seem to follow Apple’s iOS products wherever they go.
It is believed that the iPad mini will sell for less than Apple’s iPad, and more than its iPod touch. This will make it a more affordable choice for people who would like an Apple tablet, but can’t quite cough up the $500 it costs for a 16 GB iPad without cellular access, and $629 with cellular access. Currently, that price can easily buy someone a laptop computer.
Since there has been no official word from Apple on the product whatsoever, it is unknown when (if ever) it will release. However, if the past behaviors of the company are to be taken as a template, then an invitation to an event within the next week would be good indication of a product announcement, followed by sales in November.