The Internet is running rife with rumours surrounding the next iPad. Joining in on the bandwagon is Digitimes and it has recently reported that Apple’s manufacturing partners will start to roll out 4 million units of the 7.85-inch tablet per month beginning this September.

The report states, “Supply volume of Apple's 7.85-inch iPad is estimated to reach four million units per month starting in September in order to prepare for demand from year-end holidays, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Rumors are circulating in the IT market that Apple will launch its 7.85-inch iPad in October with a thinner screen frame to allow the device to feature a bigger display area than other competing products and will also feature a resolution similar to that of iPad 2.”

The report further states that sources claim that the supply chain had already begun production of the tablet since June at a volume of around several hundred thousand per month.

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iPad Mini launch is near…

The report ends by stating that their sources have implied that the pricing of this smaller tablet would be at $299, i.e. more than that of its rivals, the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7. They state that though this is the case, the specs table from Apple would still definitely be able to give them competition.

If Apple is indeed currently mass producing the 7.85-inch iPad, this could indicate that the launch is near. Earlier this year, there had been reports doing the rounds indicating that Apple was testing a tablet with a smaller display, but hadn't decided yet whether to proceed with the production.

It may be really interesting to see if Apple does launch an iPad with a lower budget, as the brand has lost a significant amount of market share to 7-inch tablets. The main competitor is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which has eaten quite a bit of Apple’s share in the tablet market, in comparison to other tablets.

As for the launch of this smaller iPad, there have been various rumours indicating that Apple would unveil it at the time it announces the next generation iPhone aka the iPhone 5. However, a journalist who has close connections with Apple has refuted this possibility. And as per a report by Apple Insider, John Grubber, in a post titled ‘Sharing the Stage’ stated, “I’m thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events. First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there’s another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out. Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional “music event”, exactly along the lines of the events at which they’ve been debuting new iPods for the last decade.”

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