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launch event

There’s no official announcement from Apple that the iPad mini/iPad nano is even in the works, so a release date for the tablet is even more up in the air.

Although if the rumors turn out to be true, we can expect Apple to start rolling out the iPad mini very soon after a extraordinarily over-hyped launch event.

According to a Digitimes source, the iPad nano could start production in the third quarter of 2012.

Analyst Shaw Wu says the “exact timing” for an iPad mini release date “is difficult to predict”, but said its launch is a “question of when, not if”.

A report straight out of China suggests that key Apple manufactures Foxconn and Pegatron have started to receive orders for the new iPad mini. It goes on to say the factories will have 6 million units ready for a launch in Q3 of 2012.

Apple has announced its annual WWDC event running from June 11-15, which sold out in just two hours, and there’s a chance we could see the Cupertino firm announce the iPad mini there, possibly alongside the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 – but then again, we could also see Apple launch a new ice cream factory, such is the chances of all three of those happening.

A iMore source claims that the iPad Mini will be ready by October 2012.

There's no official announcement from Apple that the iPad mini is even in the works, so a release date for the tablet is even more up in the air

There's no official announcement from Apple that the iPad mini is even in the works, so a release date for the tablet is even more up in the air

Apple is known for its extravagant products, launch events and pricing policies, however the iPad mini may herald a new era for those who long for an Apple device, but simply can’t part with an arm and a leg to buy one.

It’s thought that Apple’s idea behind the iPad nano is to tackle the budget end of the which, where the Amazon Kindle Fire is currently king, and a Digitimes source predicts it could land with a very reasonable $249-$299 price tag.

As the name suggests, an iPad which will be sporting a screen smaller than the stock 9.7-inch display found on the first three Apple tablets.

In February, a Wall Street Journal report claimed a source from an Apple component supplier had confirmed it was testing a smaller screen for Apple, in the region of 8-inches with a similar resolution to the iPad 2.

In March, Digitimes reported that the new iPad mini would actually come with a 7.85-inch display – a tad bigger than the 7-inch screen found on the Kindle Fire.

April saw Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu reveal that Apple had been testing devices with screens ranging from 4 to 12-inches and highlighted that the 7.85-inch format would be most likely “when, not if” the iPad mini is launched.

Shaw Wu also predicted the iPad nano would sport the same resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, at 1,024 x 768 – meaning developers wouldn’t have to tweak their apps.

According to an iMore source, the mini iPad will sport a 7-inch screen with the same retina display as the iPhone 4S and new iPad.

To help keep the cost of the iPad mini down, one source reckons it will ship with just 8 GB of internal storage – the same amount as the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Well, we’re still unsure whether Apple will go down the iPad mini route. Steve Jobs made his stance on smaller tablets quite clear and it would be a daring move by the Cupertino-firm to go against its popular former boss.

The budget tablet market is one which is definitely growing, and one which Apple is currently not part of, so it won’t be too much of a surprise if the firm does decide to go down this route.

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