Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hasn’t made an official announcement yet – though there are discussions that some kind of “event” is slated for later this month – but there are reports from the Apple supply chain that indicates that a 7.85-inch iPad Mimi is currently in full production mode. There is talk that the new device, which would directly compete with the Kindle Fire HS from Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the Nexus 7 from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) may hit store shelves later this month or in early November.
Some reports from a couple of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) partners who make displays for iPads and iPhones, LG Display and AU Optronics, are revealing that they are in full production mode of smaller iPad-type screens, according to the Wall Street Journal. Word is that the new, smaller screens will include the new Apple Inc. (AAPL) Retina HD display with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. Going directly at the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire and the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 is going against the late Steve Jobs’ wishes, who said that a smaller iPad would detract from the original. In the meantime, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a little behind in the smaller, more-portable tablet market that the Kindle Fire has seized.
And at this points, with the small-tablet market still new but quickly expanding, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be under some pressure to get in the market somewhere competitive with the $199 price point that the Kindle Fire and Nexus tablets hold. With this market so new, it name recognition and loyalty is not established yet, so while there is an opportunity for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to get some market share, it has to be wary of pricing itself too high, as the early stages of a marketplace usually puts customers in control and wanting the best performance and the best value. Chances are pretty good that investors in Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock, like billionaire fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, will be keeping and eye on the reception the iPad Mini gets in the marketplace.