Apple orders 10 million iPad Mini units, reports say

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Apple October 23 News, Rumors, and Launch Announcements

More unconfirmed details about Apple’s iPad Mini tablet have arrived.

On Thursday, Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported that Apple plans to ship 9-10 million units of its widely rumored iPad Mini tablet this year. Due to DigiTimes’ spotty record on Apple rumors, however, this report failed to gain traction — until today. A report from the Wall Street Journal out this morning corroborates the DigiTimes data, saying that Cupertino has placed an order for 10 million units of the 7.85-inch iPad Mini for the fourth quarter of this year, according to component suppliers in Asia.

Of course, Apple has not yet commented on the existence of the so-called iPad Mini (a name given to it by the tech press), so it is impossible to confirm any details about the device. However, given the near 100-percent accuracy of rumors surrounding the iPhone 5, we would be quite surprised if the oft-reported iPad Mini is an outright myth.

Rumors indicate that the iPad Mini will have a 7.85-inch display, with a possible resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels — the same as the third-generation iPad’s Retina display. The smaller iPad is also expected to have thinner side bezels, giving it a similar look to the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5. Topeka analyst Brian White tells AllThingsD that the iPad Mini “could outshine the new iPad in terms of how the device feels in a consumer’s hands.”

Reports out last week say that iPad Mini production has already run into a number of snags, with display suppliers for the device unable to meet demand. This could potentially result in significantly delayed shipping times for iPad Mini buyers — a problem that continues to haunt the iPhone 5.

Apple currently owns 68 percent of the tablet market, according to IDC. The iPad Mini is expected to strengthen that position by taking the popular Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, and the Google Nexus 7 device head-on. Analysts predict the iPad Mini will cost between $300 and $350. Apple will reportedly send out invitations for an iPad Mini event on Wednesday, October 10, with launch set for October 17.

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