Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM ET
While it is expected that Apple will announce a smaller version of its popular iPad on Oct. 17, the company has yet to confirm that such a device is in the works. But there are outside reports that Apple has placed an order for more than 10 million of these mini iPads with its suppliers.
The Wall Street Journal's Lorraine Luk writes that Apple's Asia-based component suppliers have received orders for enough parts to make "more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter." This report follows one explaining that "people with knowledge of the situation" claim that Apple's Asian component suppliers have kicked off mass production of the device's parts.
These reports suggest that Apple is anticipating a high demand for its new tablet, which is expected to have a 7.85-inch display (rather than 9.7 inches like the current models). Rumors suggest that the so-called "iPad Mini" will not have a "Retina" display like the third-generation iPad, but instead use a lower resolution version.
It is very likely that the smaller iPad will use a Lightning connector, just like the iPhone 5, rather than the older 30-pin connector found on current iPad models. 9to5 Mac's Seth Weintraub and Apple watcher John Gruber suggest that chances are high that this smaller tablet will look a lot like a large iPod Touch, with a smaller bezel.
Apple has — as usual — refrained from commenting on rumors related to this unannounced device.
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