Chatter of a fourth-quarter release for the iPad Mini got a new veneer of credibility today, after another industry mover and shaker got behind rumours that Apple is gearing up for an assault on the nascent budget tablet market.
In an interview with Cnet, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza became the latest mobile wonk to corroborate talk of an imminent debut for the slate, when he revealed that info his firm has received suggets that the 7.85-inch display is set to go into production this month, ahead of a likely retail due-date during the run up to Christmas.
Semenza told the site: "We expect panel production to start in August, with production ramping up to high volumes (more than a million units per month) in the fourth quarter.”
News of progress on the iPad Mini follows reports that Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn recently embarked on a recruitment drive to cope with an anticipated deluge of demand for the slate.
Expected to sell for between £249 and £299, the tablet’s spec sheet sheet purportedly also takes in a new smaller dock connector and a Samsung Exynos quad-core processor.
Apple had previously ruled out a smaller tablet, but has apparently changed its mind as the similarly micro-sized Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire began to make inroads into the iPad's previously impregnable market share.
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