Rumor: iPad mini display production to start this month

Alongside the new iPhone that everyone keeps talking about, Apple’s other big announcement this fall is expected to be a smaller tablet. Dubbed the “iPad mini,” by the media, the slate is believed to house a 7.85-inch screen and fall in the $200 price range.

Although there’s no actual evidence that such a product exists, it’s been confirmed by a number different news outlets. In fact, a new report is out this evening claiming that Apple is set to start production on the smaller tablet’s display sometime this month…

Citing an analyst, CNET reports:

“We expect panel production to start in August, with production ramping up to high volumes (more than a million units per month) in the fourth quarter,” said Paul Semenza, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, in response to an e-mail query.

Semenza said this is Display Search’s “understanding of the activity for the 7.85 [inch] panel expected to be used in the iPad Mini.” If this production schedule plays out, it could indicate a late 2012 launch, he said.”

Interestingly enough, this echoes recent reports that put the iPad mini’s release sometime in the last quarter of this year. We’ve heard it could launch as early as September 21st, along with the new iPhone, or as late as November.

But release date aside, Apple is expected to show off the tablet at a media event in the second week of September. It’s said to have a 7.85-inch, 1024×768 display, an extremely thin profile, and a price tag under $300.