It won’t be much longer before the iPad Mini is sold in stores. The Wall Street Journal recently shared a report, citing unnamed sources, that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s suppliers were amping up production of the smaller iPad.

iPad Mini

All year long, we’ve been hearing rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had plans to release a smaller version of their popular iPad tablet. This device is speculated to feature a 7.85 inch LCD screen.

If the iPad Mini rumor is true (and there is a very good chance it is), the company may be going against the wishes of Steve Jobs, the former co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple, who clearly stated that he never wanted to design a tablet with a smaller screen. It was reported that he was starting to accept the idea before he passed away last year.

It’s predicted that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will introduce the iPad Mini at a private event next week, and the actual device should appear on store shelves early next month.

It’s important to remind everyone that the iPad Mini has yet to be confirmed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and right now the rumors are mere speculation. Nonetheless, I think we have a 99.9% chance of the iPad Mini being in stores before the holidays.

Could this upcoming holiday season be the year of the tablet? Only time will tell.  With the pending announcement of the Apple iPad Mini and all the tablet computers currently available on the market (iPad 3, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet), it’s going to be a big season for tablet shoppers. Although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains perched on the top spot, thanks to their popular iPad models, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) are holding their own with their lower-priced alternatives. Will the iPad Mini change that and dominate the entire market? We will have to wait and see what happens next.