iPad mini: made in Brazil, has 3G, almost as thin as iPod touch

Following up on a string of recent reporting which revives the iPad mini rumor, the usually accurate Japanese blog Macotakara claimed that the device will be produced in Foxconn’s new manufacturing facilities in Brazil. Manufacturing is apparently set to ramp up in September, just in time for mass availability around the holiday shopping season, as indicated in other reports…

Macotakara has the story (machine-translated from Japanese), based on a “reliable source from China”:

The tablet called iPad mini will be produced in Brazil, however production test to collect data for new cutting machine is already done in China. Source said that, production phase of this tablet will be started since September, and this tablet should be shipped until holiday season, but announcement will not be so soon.

The report goes on to note that the 7.85-inch device will be thinner that Amazon’s Kindle Fire (11.43mm), almost as thin as the iPod touch (7.2mm), according to people who have seen a prototype. Google’s Nexus 7 is 10.45mm thick.

The iPad mini is also said to include cellular 3G capabilities and that’s pretty much all Macotakara’s source knows about the gizmo.

Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal both threw their weight behind the iPad mini, both citing “people familiar with the matter” who said Apple is going to produce a miniaturized iPad with a 1024-by-768 pixel display, so apps could run without any changes.

Both media outlets mention an October release date. Some watchers, myself included, opine that Apple is doing the iPad mini as a response to competition, namely the growing popularity of Amazon’s Kindle and Google’s just-announced Nexus 7, each tapping into its maker’s ecosystem designed to rival Apple’s.