Rumor: part suppliers preparing to ramp up production for ‘iPad Minis’

This 7-inch iPad seems to be becoming more and more real by the week. Not only has the device been confirmed by industry insiders and other credible sources, but part suppliers are now receiving orders from Apple to build the thing.

Makotakara passes along a report from The Liberty Times, a publication that the site describes as “one of the top four major Taiwan news media,” regarding the purported ‘iPad Mini.’ And it appears that Apple is moving forward with plans to produce the smaller tablet…

“LG Display and AU Optronics have already passed certification test for LCD panel for iPad mini, and have started to prepare to ship a part of production. The device, considered to be iPad mini, will be released during in 2012 3Q or 4Q, and target shipping amount seems to be expected to reach 6 million.”

The report goes on to say that Apple has also tapped Nissha Printing to provide touch sensors for the device, and has asked TPK Holding and Chimei Innolux to produce a total of 6 million backlight modules.

This story actually lines up perfectly with a previous report we heard out of China last month, which also claimed that Apple was looking to produce 6 million sub-$300 tablets for a 2012 Q3 release.

In fact, the only aspect of the device that the rumor mill seems to be conflicted on is whether it will have a Retina display, similar to that of the new iPad, or the 1024×768 display found on the first and second generation models.

Now the important question is, will people buy it? Would you buy one?