Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s suppliers in Asia confirmed that they have received more than 1o million orders for the production of iPad mini during the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The launching of the iPad Mini has been rumored several weeks ago within the technology industry, but the Cupertino based tech giant remained silent, and has not released any official confirmation regarding the launch of its mini tablet.
Last week, it was reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sent out invitations to an exclusive event for the the iPad Mini on October 10. The report cited that one week after the special event, the smaller iPad will be revealed in the market by the company.
If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) indeed ordered the production of more than 10 million units of iPad Mini from its component suppliers, it means the iPad maker considers the existence of strong market demand for smaller tablets. Its order for the iPad Mini doubled the Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s orders for Kindle Fire.
According to a previous report, Apple’s suppliers are speeding their production for the iPad Mini in time for the special event and launching of the product. Many speculated that the iPad Mini is equipped with a 7.85-inch LCD screen. Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) expressed his opposition to develop a tablet with a smaller screen. Apple’s management is perhaps contradicting the wishes of Jobs with the introduction of the smaller iPad, but some reports cited that the late CEO showed signs of accepting the idea of the iPad Mini before his death.
The report from the Wall Street Journal cited a comment from Diana Wu, analyst from Capital Securities that Apple’s decision to extend its dominance in the tablet market with the smaller tablet makes sense.
On the other hand, Wanli Wang, analyst from RBS said the “iPad Mini will be a big hit if Apple prices it below $300.”
Majority of Wall Street analysts believed there is a strong consumer demand for smaller tablets due to the strong sales performance of Samsung’s Galaxy Note equipped with 5.3-inch screen, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire equipped with 7-inch screen. Samsung is scheduled to launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 also known as the “phablet” with 5.5-inch AMOLED display and S Pen on October 24.
According to analysts, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s ability to compete with the other smaller tablets available in the market depends on the price of the iPad Mini. Its competitors such as Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, both are equipped with 7 inches screen, each sells for $199.