Apple reportedly orders 10M iPad Minis

Apple fans may see a smaller, cheaper iPad this fall. Reports have surfaced that the device, which is has been dubbed the iPad Mini, is already in production.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has placed an order for 10 million units of the iPad Mini to component suppliers in Asia. The Journal previously reported that production had already started on the device.

But there are also rumors that Apple is already experiencing production delays. According to a report by DigiTimes, suppliers are having a difficult time delivering the devices on time because the anodized finish on its body is vulnerable to scratches.

Fortune reported that Apple will send an invitation out on Oct. 10 for an Oct. 17 event, where the tech giant will announce the iPad Mini. Those rumors align with a report in August by AllThingsD saying that Apple is planning to hold an event in October.

Apple has not confirmed any of the reports or rumors regarding a smaller iPad. The company does not generally comment on rumors and speculation.

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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