According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s ‘Asian component suppliers’ have begun mass production of the iPad Mini. Citing two sources, production of the upcoming iPad’s screens is said to have started last month, with both LG Display and AU Optronics being named as the manufacturers of the display. The same sources confirmed that the iPad Mini will feature a 7.85-inch LCD screen and that it will have a lower resolution than the iPad 3. It has been speculated in the past that the Mini will have a resolution 1024 x 768 pixels. Two days earlier, Japanese blog Macotakara claimed that production of the smaller tablet has already begun in Foxconn factories located in Brazil.
Last month, Chinese site Bolopad posted leaked images of the iPad Mini, showing its thinner bezelled design, aluminum backplate, rear-facing camera, the new 9-pin Lighting dock, and presumably a microphone hole located on its backside.
And it’s been rumoured on numerous occasions that the iPad Mini will start in the price range of $249-299 for an 8GB model, which if true, will be similarly priced against competing 7-inch tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and Google Nexus 7. As for release dates, it is expected (though not confirmed at this point) that the iPad Mini will be announced by Apple on Oct 17th, followed by its launch next month.