Q3 may see Apple release iPad mini according to latest rumours
Talk of sub-$300 tablet re-emerges
Published: 17 April, 2012
It seems like the rumours of an iPad mini just can't be laid to rest and the latest, which comes from Chinese website NetEase, suggests that we may see one in Q3 this year. According to the site the mini's supply chain has finalised third quarter shipments with a view to shipping an estimated 6 million units. If true then Hon Hai Precsion and Pegatron are going to be manufacturing the device which will probably cost between $249.99 - $299.99.
The report says that Apple is considering the move as a counter attack to the impending onset of Windows 8 tablets, despite the more imminent danger being from an increasing number of Android tablets that are similarly priced to the Kindle Fire but with better specs. Chief among these is the upcoming collaboration between Google and Asus which is rumoured to feature a quad-core processor and not surprisingly Android 4.0 out of the box.
So far though even with the right pricing and specs, aside from Amazon's tablet, Android slates haven't managed to make much of an impact on Apple's iPad sales. While Windows Phone 8 sales have been relatively slow Microsoft could be on to a faster winner with its Windows 8 OS that promises to build the most solid bridge yet between the world of tablets and desktop PCs.
Actual solid evidence of the tablet is practically non-existent aside from the odd unconfirmed leak such as this but over the past few months many Apple analysts have claimed that a mini tablet would be a good move for the company. One tantalising scrap of possible proof is the dropping of the numerical identifier from the end of the latest iPad's name. If a mini is in the works then Apple's previous naming convention could have gotten uncharacteristically messy with subsequent versions of the small tablet.
Until Apple confirms or denies the rumours Q3 seems like the most likely window for release and apart from a screen that's around 7" nothing is known about what kind of hardware it's going to be packing.