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Apple's iPad Mini rumoured for late 2012 launch

Smaller tablet still looks like a possibility


Published: 19 December, 2011

READ MORE: US | Apple | Handset | iOS

It looks like anyone anticipating a smaller version of the iPad may have to wait until well into next year according to the latest rumour from Digitimes. Last week it was reported that Apple's iPad 3 would be arriving in March or April next year. Although this was no big shocker it did line-up with other recent reports about the availability of the next version of the best selling tablet. Now the site is saying that the smaller iPad will launch before Q4 2012.

Once again no specs are mentioned, apart from the fact it will have a 7.85" display, but it's said that LG and AU Optronics will be supplying the panels with production expected to start in the second quarter of 2012. It's safe to assume that hardware which is better than the previous iPad won't be the main concern of this tablet, the main point of which is to cope with the increasing competition from large smartphones and reasonably priced tablets such as Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Amazon has yet to reveal the exact sales figures for the Kindle Fire but it did issue a press release last week where it announced it was selling Kindles at a rate of one million a week for the previous three weeks. This figure covered the whole Kindle range and though what portion of it belonged to the Kindle Fire is a mystery the retailer did make sure to mention that the tablet is the best selling and most wished for item on its site.

Next year might see a shift in the tablet world but for now Apple retains the lions share of sales when it comes to slates and out of the 60m tablet devices expected to have shipped globally in 2011 iPads will account for around 70% of them.

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