Following a previous report from The Wall Street Journal that mass production has already begun for Apple’s iPad Mini, WSJ has followed up with another report this morning stating that Apple has ordered over 10 million units for the holiday shopping season.
Some component suppliers to Apple in Asia say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter. That is roughly double the order that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter, these suppliers say. The figure indicates that Apple believes demand for the product will be strong, despite stiff competition in the market.
It’s interesting that Apple has ordered twice as many iPad Mini units as Amazon ordered for the Kindle Fire. it’s important to note that just because Apple ordered 10 million doesn’t mean that they’ll sell that many – but if they can offer them at $200-300, as rumored, it’s easy to see how the product could face extremely high demand.
The time is certainly ripe for Apple to begin offering a smaller, cheaper version of the iPad, especially as the popularity of other similarly sized tablets, such as the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7, continues to rise. A holiday season release also makes for an excellent launch strategy.
The iPad mini is expected to be as thin as an iPod touch, and feature a narrow bezel, and is expected to be launched in October, with media invites rumored to be sent out on October 10th for the launch event. The device is expected to sell for between $200 and $300 (1, 2), and will likely resemble a smaller version of the iPad 2.