Taiwanese publication Liberty Times claims that Apple has already reached agreements with LCD suppliers for the so-called “iPad mini” that is supposedly set to launch in the second half of this year. While we cannot verify the accuracy of this unfamiliar source, we have posted the rumor in the interest of discussion. Additionally, this rumor corresponds nicely with an earlier report that claims Apple is working on a 7-inch iPad for release in October.
Citing the usual vague “market rumors” but also a report from Japanese securities firm Macquarie, the Liberty Times said the iPad mini could start shipping by the end of the third quarter with a goal of 6 million units.
LG and Au Optronics have already passed Apple’s certification tests to provide the tablet’s LCD panel. Both have been working to ship the panels for actual production of the diminutive iPad, according to the report.
There has been an increasing amount of speculation pointing towards a smaller iPad, with John Gruber for Daring Fireball claiming that Apple has a prototype 7.85-inch iPad in its labs for testing. The Wall Street Journal says that Apple is working on an 8-inch iPad, while we’ve also heard that a 7″ to 8″ iPad is expected by the holidays. Apple is expected to release the “iPad mini” in the price range of $199 to $299 to target Amazon’s low-priced Kindle Fire and a myriad of Android-based tablets.