All signs point to Apple (News - Alert) having a very profitable year thanks to a number of new devices hitting the market. In fact, recent reports show the company will rise into the ranks of history’s most successful companies financially.
The release of the iPhone (News - Alert) 5 is one of the reasons the company has been getting so much great press. The iPad Mini is another reason and it appears as though Apple has officially begun production on that little device.
If there’s one problem most consumers have with the iPad, it’s that the device is a little expensive. While the size of the iPad is much appreciated by some, others like a tablet that can fit in their bags easier and are a bit lighter.
The iPad Mini is expected to meet both of these preferences with a smaller screen and a price tag (News - Alert) closer to that of the Kindle Fire.
Reports indicate that Apple’s Asian component producers are preparing for mass production. Those tablets are expected to boast screens less than eight inches. All three versions of the iPad released to the market have 9.7-inch screens.
Reports that distributors have been told to begin production is of course a major step forward. Earlier in the year there was talk that Apple was testing the smaller tablet but hadn’t decided whether or not to go forward.
As always, Apple has been tight lipped about whether or not any of the reports about the new device hold water. That hasn’t derailed sources who say the company is using LG Display and AU Optronics (News - Alert) to put the screens together.
While Apple won’t confirm the existence of these iPad Minis, it would make sense. The company has a strong hold on the tablet market at the moment, but Google has just announced a Nexus 7 tablet that will sport a seven-inch screen and a $199 price tag. Microsoft (News - Alert) also just announced its new Surface tablet, sporting a 10.7-inch screen and priced around that same as what the current iPads cost.
Both of those competitors could chip into the iPad’s hold.