Apple iPad Mini rumors: Supply shortage, scratch-prone cases
Apple has not even hinted that an iPad Mini is planned, yet rumors of supply shortages and scratch-prone cases are already circulating.
According to a report by DigiTimes, Apple suppliers are facing production delays of the smaller iPad that Apple is reportedly launching on Oct. 17. Citing source "in Apple's supply chain," the blog reports that the iPad Mini, which will come in black and aluminum, are vulnerable to scratching because of its anodized finish.
Rumors of a smaller iPad have circulated for some time, even though Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs once famously said that 7-inch tablets would be "dead on arrival" during an 2010 earnings call. And continued to say that smaller tablets were "tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad."
However, there is some indication that Apple will launch the iPad Mini in October. Aside from crops of blogs reporting "leaked" prototypes of the device, several news reports have suggested that the world will see a smaller iPad by the end of the year.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that production has already started on the smaller tablet computer.
Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," the Journal reported that the iPad Mini will have a 7.85-inch liquid crystal display, but not the Retina Display that is currently on the new iPads. According to the Journal's sources, LG Display and AU Optronics began production on the LCD screens last month.
Fortune also reported that Apple will send an invitation out on Oct. 10 for an Oct. 17 event, where the tech giant will announce a smaller iPad. Those rumors align with a report in August by AllThingsD saying that Apple would hold an event in October.
Apple dominates the 9-inch tablet market, but competitors have cropped up with smaller, cheaper alternative tablet computers. Last fall, Amazon and Barnes & Noble announced 7-inch tablets the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, respectively. The tablets were priced between $199 and $249. In June, Google announced the Nexus 7 Tablet, which is also priced at $199.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble announced tablets that directly compete with the iPad last month. The Kindle Fire HD+ and Nook HD+are both 9-inch tablets with high-definition displays that run on the Android operating system, which start between $269 and $299.
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