More grist for the rumor mill ahead of the so-called iPad mini’s expected debut later this month.
Chatter from Apple’s overseas supply chain indicates that the company has not been cutting corners in its efforts to keep the iPad’s diminutive sibling price-competitive with what will surely be its two greatest rivals in the seven-inch tablet space, Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Apple’s “we just want to make great products” ethos will be as evident in the iPad mini as it is in all the company’s hardware.
Tokepa analyst Brian White, who’s been travelling around Taipei talking to component suppliers, says the mini — or whatever Apple chooses to call it — may even be slicker than the new iPad.
“Apple did not skimp on the aesthetics of the much anticipated ‘iPad Mini,’” White says. “In fact, we believe the ‘iPad Mini’ could outshine the new iPad in terms of how the device feels in a consumer’s hands.”
Not much to go on, I realize. But White’s supply chain sources have been solid in the past, and here at AllThingsD we too have been hearing promising things about the iPad mini’s design, which sources say demands a lot of the companies manufacturing it. This is something White has been hearing, as well, and he thinks it could make the device hard to come by initially. “The new ‘iPad Mini’ is more challenging to produce than prior iPad iterations,” he says. “We believe supply will initially be constrained.”
And in another dispatch from the supply chain, The Wall Street Journal reports that some of Apple’s Asian component partners say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter, roughly double the number of Kindle Fire’s ordered for the quarter.
[Image courtesy of Martin Hajek)