With the speculated release date of the so-called Apple iPad mini approaching, rumors surrounding the device are also getting traction. Following reports that Apple had ordered some of its Asian component suppliers to produce more than 10 million iPad minis for the last quarter of this year, another report hit the web Tuesday that cited an industry analyst saying that the smaller iPad’s design could outclass the new third generation iPad.
Topeka analyst Brian White said in a research note obtained by All Things Digital that “Apple did not skimp on the aesthetics of the much anticipated iPad Mini.” He even said that the smaller iPad’s design “could outshine the new iPad in terms of how the device feels in a consumer’s hands.”
The report by All Things Digital stated that White’s supply chain sources had been solid in the past. His sources revealed that the iPad mini’s design “demands a lot of the companies manufacturing it.” Given that, he believed “it could make the device hard to come by initially.”
“The new ‘iPad Mini’ is more challenging to produce than prior iPad iterations,” said White. “We believe supply will initially be constrained.”
While White didn’t say much about how the iPad mini would “feel” better in consumers’ hands, various reports said that the device would be much smaller than the existing iPad. Apple’s current iPad features a 9.7-inch screen, whereas the iPad mini is expected to come with a 7.85-inch display.
Rumors have it that the iPad mini will cost a price lower than the original iPad, though likely a bit higher than the $199 price point of the Kindle Fire and Galaxy Nexus 7.
According to MacRumors, the new smaller iPad is not likely to be powered by the same A6 processor that is found in the iPhone 5, but a different version of the A5 chip that powers the iPad 2.
The device is likely to have a lower resolution compared to the third generation iPad, meaning that it might lose out of Apple’s Retina Display technology.
The Washington Post reported that a smaller iPad is expected to sell well and help strengthen Apple’s dominance in the world tablet market, despite the fact that the company is a late entrant into the market.
However, the report also said that the competition in the smaller tablet market could become tougher in the holiday season, since Microsoft and its manufacturers are releasing their Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets during the same period of time.
In addition, Amazon has also revived its tablet line with a full-sized Kindle Fire, which could also give tough competition to Apple’s iPad.
According to a report from Fortune, Apple is expected to issue invitations for an iPad mini-related media event on Oct. 10. If this holds true and the company does follow its typical scheduling protocol, we could see a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2.