Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not reveal too much about its production line before it’s time, so talk, rumor, innuendo and implications that a smaller iPad was coming to market have been just that – along with some conjecture after several analysts checked the company’s supply chain for component production. At this point, Apple Inc. (AAPL) isn’t even officially announcing when or whether it will hold an unveiling event for this mystery new device, which is being called the iPad Mini.
However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not saying publicly but it has given indications that it has made an order for 10 million iPad Mini units and that the various component suppliers have been in active production. This order is reportedly to cover Apple Inc. (AAPL) demand during the Christmas holiday shopping season, which would be twice the number that Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has ordered of its Kindle Fire HD.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now reportedly ready to send out invitations Wednesday for an Oct. 17 event, which may mean that the iPad Mini device would be in the market by the end of the month – at least according to past history regarding these events. This smaller version of the iPad is designed to more directly compete with the Kindle Fire and the Nook by Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS), along with the Nexus 7 tablet by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). In the meantime, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) unveiled a larger Kindle Fire HD to directly compete with the iPad.
The 7-inch iPad Mini, sources say, is made to look similar to the iPhone 5 and the new iPod Touch rather than a smaller iPad. Whether this will fit a certain niche market for customers remains to be seen, but certainly the device enters an increasingly competitive sub-market in the mobile tablet space. Investors in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, like billionaire fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa Management LP, will certainly keep an eye on the holiday sales numbers for the company.