Apple suppliers start production on iPad Mini, report says

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Apple suppliers have started production on a smaller tablet computer, which is currently dubbed the iPad Mini.

Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," the Journal reports 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 reported Monday 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 announce the iPad Mini in October.

The Japanese blog Macotakara also reported rumors that production has already started at Foxconn in Brazil.

Several sources speculate that the look and feel of an iPad Mini will be just like an iPad, but smaller. Most journalists and analyst believe the iPad Mini will have a 7.85-inch display, LTE support, front and rear camera, iOS6 and a retail price between $249 and $299.

While Apple dominates the full-sized tablet market, scores of 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 updates to the tablets last month. TheKindle 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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