updated 12:16 am EDT, Tue August 21, 2012
Manufacturers already preparing for holiday demand
Apple suppliers are allegedly preparing facilities to output as many as four million "iPad minis" per month, unnamed sources within the supply chain have told DigiTimes. The source also suggests manufacturers have already begun small-scale production, building several hundred thousand of the rumored devices since June.
Separate reports suggest the smaller tablet may integrate a 7.85-inch display, a slightly larger screen than that of competing seven-inch tablets but with a thinner bezel and a resolution similar to the iPad 2's 1024x768 layout. In contrast, Google's Nexus 7 sports a 7.0-inch display with 1280x800 resolution.
Other rumored features include a smaller dock connector, which is also expected on the fifth-generation iPhone, and an iridium tin oxide (ITO) coating on the display. The overall build is said to be as thin as an iPod touch, and generally much smaller and lighter than its 9.7-inch counterparts.
Apple has yet to officially confirm any details surrounding the seven-inch iPad, however some rumors point to September 12 as a likely unveiling date alongside the next iPhone.