iPad Mini update - Apple planning to manufacture 10 million units; Device will be wi-fi only

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that mass production on Apple's upcoming iPad Mini had begun. And with that in mind, many folks were paying attention to a rumor that invivations to a special iPad-themed event would be sent out on Wednesday, October 10. But with the 10th now firmly behind us and nary a mention of any iPad invitation being received by any media outlet, the speculation regarding Apple's rumored new iPad model soldiers on.

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that mass production on Apple's upcoming iPad Mini had begun. And with that in mind, many folks were paying attention to a rumor that invivations to a special iPad-themed event would be sent out on Wednesday, October 10. But with the 10th now firmly behind us and nary a mention of any iPad invitation being received by any media outlet, the speculation regarding Apple's rumored new iPad model soldiers on.

That said, here's a little update on the latest iPad Mini rumors, rumblings, and happening

This past weekend, yet another report from the WSJ surfaced claiming that Apple's component suppliers in Asia received large orders for parts, enough to churn out over 10 million iPad Mini devices during the upcoming holiday quarter. Compare this with the 5 million units reportedly placed by Amazon for its popular Kindle Fire.

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.

The iPad Mini is largely being positioned as a cheaper alternative to Apple's regular lineup of iPads, and indeed, is meant to thwart cheaper 7-inch devices like the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire from gaining any more traction in the marketplace. To that end, the Guardian recently published a report claiming that the iPad Mini will be wi-fi only. While this may at first seem a tad strange, it would make perfect sense to the extent that Apple is looking to lower the bill of materials used on the iPad Mini so that they can price it as aggressively as possible. It's for this very reason that the iPad Mini, according to a slew of reports, will not feature a Retina Display.

Apple's expected "iPad mini" will only come in a Wi-Fi version – but there will also be a revised version of the iPad with 4G connectivity compatible with the UK's Everything Everywhere network, and sporting the new "Lightning" connector, industry sources have told the Guardian.

So according to The Guardian, Apple will also take time this Fall to introduce a revamped iPad capable of running on 4G networks in the UK, which actually is in line with some rumors that stretch all the way back to August.

And finally rounding out this iPad Mini rumor update, a report from the Japanese-language blog Macotakara claims that at least one large case manufacturer has stopped production due to a last-minute iPad Mini design change from Apple. While it remains unclear the extent of said change, it's not necessarily a huge deal considering that even the most minute of design changes might potentially affect the utility of an iPad case. 

Large OEM mobile accessory maker has stopped their iPad mini case production, because the form of iPad mini seems to be changed. Source told me the round shape seems changed, then case designed based on leaked iPad mini may be dropped.

Leaked case designs and schematics for the iPhone 5 were right on point with what Apple eventually released so it'll be interesting to see if the iPad Mini, when Apple finally does get around to unveiling it, is at all different from the slew of leaked case designs and purportedly accurate physical mockups that we've seen to date.

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