Rumours of an iPad mini are in full swing now, with reports coming in that the production of the as-yet unofficial slate will be manufactured in Brazil.
Citing ‘reliable’ Chinese whistle-blowers, Japanese publication Makotakara is claiming that although the ‘cutting’ phase will take place in China, which presumably involves crafting the actual shell of the device, production of the tablet will happen in Brazil.
Unfortunately there was no explanation as to why this is the case. It may be that it’s cheaper to assemble in Brazil, as rumours have long been doing the rounds that the iPad mini will be designed to be affordable, which is a dead cert now considering the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the recently unveiled Google Nexus 7 – both of which are priced in the $200 range (the latter will cost £159 when it lands in the UK).
Another explanation may be that Apple is unhappy with the working conditions at Foxconn factories in China, which have resulted in suicides of many workers and attracted scathing criticism of the Cupertino-based titan. Moving production to Brazil could be a warning to Chinese manufacturer to step up its working practices, but it’s just a theory.
Makotakara also reveals there’ll be a 3G model of the iPad mini and it will boast a 16:9 aspect ratio with a 7.85-inch panel that’s slightly bigger than the Nexus 7. And it’s could be launched as early as September, possibly alongside the iPhone 5.
The report also states the tablet could be almost as thin as an iPod Touch, making it ultra portable and giving it a real advantage over rivals.
We’ll reveal more about the iPad mini in the weeks to come. So stay tuned.