WSJ: suppliers gearing up for mass production of iPad mini in September

By , Jul 4, 2012

Following yesterday’s report by Bloomberg that Apple is planning to debut a smaller, inexpensive iPad by year-end, The Wall Street Journal (an unofficial Apple mouthpiece) on Wednesday cited the obligatory “people familiar with the matter”, reporting that Apple’s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production of the iPad mini in September. Get your sandpapers ready!

Author Lorraine Luk writes:

Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet.

Two of the people said that the tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches. The iPad’s screen measures 9.7 inches, unchanged since the first model was released in 2010.

Apple is reportedly tapping LG Display and AU Optronics to supply displays for the device. A report Monday by a Chinese news site speculated that a 7.85-inch iPad mini will have a Sharp-made panel and an attractive price point between $249 and $299.

Looks like the iPad mini is happening after all as big media is throwing its credibility behind the rumor. The Journal first reported on an inexpensive iPad with a smaller display back in January.

The $249-$299 sweet spot is obviously the key here. If Apple manages to pull it off, the iPad will explode and rivals will conceivably run for the hills.

With the iPad 3 gross margin an estimated 37 percent, Apple has plenty of room to engineer a smaller iPad with a non-Retina display at 1024-by-768 resolution and smaller storage and tap economies of scale to make a decent profit on a $249 device.

As Bloomberg put it, it would be “competitors’ worst nightmare”.

Why?

Because Amazon is selling its Kindle Fire at a loss and making up for it with content sales. Likewise, Google’s Nexus 7 is also estimated to break even, with Google hoping to monetize users with advertising.

But in addition to making money on the hardware, Apple has the most content-rich ecosystem out there and will continue collecting its customary 30 percent cut whenever iPad mini owners buy apps, songs, movies, e-books and other media.

Summing up, should Apple unveils a similarly priced iPad, it’ll conceivably be game over for both Amazon and Google. Let’s not forget that both companies are putting their own brands on this front and center so the failure will no doubt undermine the credibility of Android and Google’s tablet strategy.

Are you excited about the smaller, cheaper iPad?

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  • http://twitter.com/res08hao1 Uncle Bernie

    Jobs is rolling over. They don’t need that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alborz-Heydaryan/100001666434300 Alborz Heydaryan

      true… they don’t…
      he said a 7″ tablet is useless… and he’s right.
      and iPad apps half the size? they might just run perfectly but all the icons are going to be half the size. not ergonomically correct anymore…

  • http://twitter.com/iPhoner4S 4S

    if will be how much will coast 64GB ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/P33Motivation Junior Pojo

    Oh Yeah!

  • SimonReidy

    It’s it’s still 4×3 aspect ratio, then it makes sense for it just to have a shrunken 1024×768 screen. Then all iPad apps will work seamlessly on it. It doesn’t seem likely that Apple are going to change aspect ratio as that would cause a new resolution to be introduced, meaning more work for developers and apps looking crap until they are optimised for it. 

     However I  prefer the widescreen aspect ratio of 16:10 for smaller tablets. It make them easier to hold in one hand and gives them a natural book shape in portrait mode. Not to mention the obvious benefit of displaying widescreen movies with less pixels wasted on black bars.

    Plus Google have obviously just released a very powerful and fairly priced tabet with a higher screen resolution of 1280×800. And it’s running the very latest Android OS with a ton of improvements under the hood. 

     Then again while a smaller iPad tablet from Apple might be technically inferior, iOS kick’s Android’s butt when it comes to range of existing quality dedicated tablet apps. 

    I’m probably just saying this because I already have an iPad2 and want something new to play with, but personally if I were to buy a small tablet right now I’d be leaning towards the Nexus 7. 

    It will be interesting to see how these new range of smaller, cheaper tablets do on the market.

  • http://www.facebook.com/martemyanov.pavel Martemyanov Pavel

    what about 64GB version of small iPad???

  • http://twitter.com/chanomex11 Feliciano Sarmiento

    For me the iPod touch is to small and the iPad is to big to take it to school……I hope it has siri

  • http://twitter.com/justinetobi Justine Tobi Dayao

    but at that time people have bought Nexus 7 already or the Acer Iconomia, and the new ipad was just released like 4months ago..and at that time also people will be trembling about the awesome iPhone 5. But this ipad mini at that price range will be really nightmare. Why just can’t they announce that “wait for the ipad mini! it is not a rumor! f*** nexus 7.” then people will start forming lines again and wait.

  • http://twitter.com/macboy76 Michael Alejandro

    No they’re not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyler155 Tyler Chervo

    Weren’t they also ramping up production last year when we were supposed to see the iPad mini but “supply constraints” stopped it? I really doubt we will ever see a real iPad mini.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lgasparjnr Laszlo Gaspar

    I’ll always prefer a larger screen

  • http://twitter.com/OAlannah Alannah O

    I don’t own an iPad yet, mostly because they’re a bit too expensive for me at the moment. I’ve been looking at the other offerings out there, though. If Apple was able to release a quality product in that price range, I’m sure it would blow everything out of the water. I know I would buy it.