WSJ: iPad Mini production is now underway

There was a time when, to learn about unannounced products hitting production, we had to rely on the Far Eastern press—on stories written in shaky English that cited nebulous sources from the local supply chain.

Well, now, all we have to do is load up the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this morning, the Journal reported that Apple’s Asian suppliers "have started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the current iPad." The business periodical bases its story on word from unnamed "executives at component makers," who claim LG and AU Optronics started producing 7.85" LCD screens for the tablet in August. Those screens are said to feature a lower resolution than the new iPad’s 9.7" screen.

That’s about it as far as new facts go. All of this information corroborates past reports about the rumored iPad Mini, however. WSJ offshoot AllThingsD reported last month that the device was primed for an October debut. There’s also been talk about the smaller iPad featuring a 1024×768 display resolution, just like the iPad 2.

The only thing we don’t yet know is how much Apple will charge for the device. I’d say an entry price below $249 seems likely, considering Google’s Nexus 7 costs $199 and Amazon now offers its cheapest 7" Kindle Fire slate for only $159.

Comments closed
    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    I like to think that this upcoming product is no mere ipad mini-me but the long-rumoured next generation Apple TV, hence “iPad TV”. Philips was first with a mass-market touchscreen HDTV remote, but the market opportunity is ripe for apple to come in with a highly wirelessly connected iOS screen acting as a streaming media nexus for the entire living room.

    My guess is its screen would display chanelled, app-aware content in thematic sync with whatever HD show is playing on the room’s big screen. It may come with a tiny kinect-like motion sensor and mic array to be positioned at the HDTV for deep-field noise-cancelling. It would likely be bundled with content and broadband packages from the media companies with whom Apple has quietly struck deals in the past month.

    This would be an enhanced mobile Apple TV, providing out-of-band yet parallel feeds of ads and media right into your hands, and with both touch and Siri voice interfaces for controlling basic video and audio functions. Or at least that’s how I think Jobs would have it “done right” as per his source of buttercup inspiration, 2001: A Space Oddyssey. Think of a handheld HAL9000 running your living room for you…

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      And when the voice recognition does something horribly wrong and the user gets upset, it can say “Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.”

        • trackerben
        • 7 years ago

        To which user would irritatedly reply, “Word”, and HAL would reply contritely, “I’m sorry , Dave.”

        After which Charlton Heston’s voice would come online and intone, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Are you God of this space?”

        “Let’s just say my wrath will spill over your cabinet if you do not <obey>.”

        Screen flashes, and Heston speaks again. “Oki-doki. Let there be Light.”

        And there was.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    EVERYONE KNOWS I LOVE RANDOM RUMORS!!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      I HEARD SSK IS AN ALIEN FROM THE PLANET MS-WP-8. EXPLAINS HIS SHILLINESS!!

      • no51
      • 7 years ago

      DID YOU HEAR ABOUT WHAT BECKY DID BEHIND THE TIM HORTON’S LAST FRIDAY? OHMAHGAH I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    “iPad Mini – for your low consumption days.”

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]The only thing we don't yet know is how much Apple will charge for the device. I'd say an entry price below $249 seems likely[/quote<] I called $379 a while ago. I think $349 is more likely, but somebody already called that one

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    When there are rumors about rumors of a 7″ iPad possibly going into production, it’s major news. When it someone finds out it’s in production, it’s in the Wall Street Journal, and linked to by TR and 100s of other sites.

    How many people even know Viewsonic already makes 7″ tablets? Or that Windows 7/atom tablets have been around for awhile?

    Hell, even Google to has put ads for the Nexus 7 on their own homepage to generate any buzz. Short from a Super Bowl infomercial, that’s as extreme as advertising gets.

    Apple’s said NOTHING about any 7″ iPad. It’s a secret. And it’s already more famous than 99% of other tablets out there. When it comes out, it’ll be headline news on every major network and website.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      This is how Apple does marketing. And it’s [i<]very[/i<] effective

        • Farting Bob
        • 7 years ago

        “This is the sixth time we have done it, and we are exceedingly efficient at it.”

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Apple is currently the world’s largest company, and dominates the mobile device market by, like, a whole very much lot. That’s why they get the press — their products are more likely than anyone else’s products to define a particular market sector for the next six months.

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    Every decision at Apple is about money,how do they make more money,how do they milk you dry ,nothing else matters. A cheap ipad makes no sense and for apple low end specs don’t make sense either.
    Nice specs at 400$ and a cheaper ipad 2 would be the best path, for Apple (not the consumer ofc).
    If the specs are crappier ,screen res as rumored,maybe a cut down SoC then it could be cheaper but even 300$ doesn’t make a lot of sense since it hurts sales for the bigger tablets and would be pretty low margins.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Apple purports to make money on hardware sales, but the services are the key. By waiting this long to introduce a smaller/cheaper iPad, they’re not really cannibalizing their sales, as most people that were going to buy the larger iPads already have one or more.

      What they’re doing is penetrating into a new tablet market layer and folding those customers into their ecosystem.

      As long as they’re not giving these away, it’s all gravy.

      • kyboshed
      • 7 years ago

      If cheaper options such as Kindle are already hurting the iPad’s sales then a cheaper iPad would make some sense because it would allow them to take back some of those lost sales, getting another wallet locked into the iOS/Airplay/Mac ecosystem which would otherwise be spending money in Amazon/Google’s backyard.

    • shaurz
    • 7 years ago

    “Dead on arrival”

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Nothing Apple is DOA

        • Farting Bob
        • 7 years ago

        Ping?

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          How about nothing running iOS is DOA. 🙂

            • kyboshed
            • 7 years ago

            Never mind, I should pay more attention…

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    1024×768 is obviously going to be behind the curve in that form factor – but I can’t see developers being very happy if Apple introduced another new resolution so I think Apple will probably elect not to mess with them. Even managing a closed ecosystem can be a pain, eh?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      They did it with the iPhone. I’m a little surprised it’s not 1366×768 making the transition to 16:9 like they did with the iPhone 5.

        • drfish
        • 7 years ago

        Emphasis on [i<]another[/i<] since they just did it. Even then they limited themselves by only changing the vertical resolution, its still the same 640 pixels wide. They probably want to wait on the 16:9 iPad until they can do it with their flagship 9.7" model first.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah you’re probably right on having it in the flagship first, though 1366×768 affords the same luxury of keeping the same width.

            • ratte
            • 7 years ago

            Why would Apple want to make an ipad in 16:9 format ?
            That is only good for movies, making portraitmode nearly useless.

            • nico1982
            • 7 years ago

            I guess everyone is different. I like the Nexus 7 way more than the iPad and I hold it as portrait most of the time, unless I’m watching a video, of course. It just feel more natural that way and TR is still quite readable.

            • ratte
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, @nico1982 I was sort of thinking more of the larger tablets, haven’t tried the Nexus (not available in sweden yet)

      • nico1982
      • 7 years ago

      Since I don’t see Apple release a non-retina device and 2048×1536 is very unlikely, I guess it is either 1600×1200 or 1536×1152 (which, incidentally, is also 1024×768 scaled 1.5 times).

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    A 7″ tablet?

    WAY TO NOT COPY, APPLE!

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      About the same dimensions of the Newton. ;D

      • tay
      • 7 years ago

      Its actually 8″ and 4:3 aspect. Nearly 40% larger than 7″ 16:9 tablets.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        And similar to existing 8″ tablets like the Archos 80 G9 which is the same resolution and screen size. Still, as MMO said, WAY TO NOT COPY, APPLE!

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      Meanwhile, up until this point, if anyone else were to make a 7 inch tablet, we’d all say WAY TO NOT COPY APPLE!

      Commas are meaningful things

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