The major news surrounding the iPad mini centres around the launch date as Apple’s rivals Google have already unveiled their 7-inch Google Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon may unveil their second generation Kindle Fire in the near future. There was a lot of speculation that Apple would unveil a smaller version of their highly successful iPad mini by October, but as per a report by The Inquirer, it appears that the brand will unveil it in time for Christmas.

Samsung claims an iPad Mini coming this year

A smaller iPad to be launched by Christmas

As per the Inquirer's report – An Apple “mystery product” has been listed by electronics retailers Currys and PC World in their list of predictions for the top 10 best-selling Christmas gifts of 2012. At a very early pre-Christmas press event today a company representative told The Inquirer that the ambiguous Apple product will be a budget tablet that will compete with the Google Nexus 7″

Naturally this bit of inromation, whether or not Apple has confirmed the device offically or not, does make the speculation of an iPad Mini so much more hyped. The retailer did not divulge any specifics regarding the mystery product and when the publication contacted Apple for a comment, in the usual fashion, they claimed that they don't respond to rumours and speculations. 

When the Inquirer quizzed Currys and PC World whether the mystery product could be the upcoming iPhone, their representative apprently stated that it was the upcoming flagship from Apple and further added tha it was a smaller version of the iPad. The representative justified this by stating that phones do not appear on the list.

The same report went on to state, “Currys and PC World scored the mystery Apple product at number four in their annual top 10 list of predicted best-selling Christmas gifts, with the new Ipad seeded at first place. However, a statement from the vendors has specified that once the mystery product is revealed, it could knock the new iPad off the top spot as the best-selling gift for Christmas.” The statement read, “[We] are predicting that the only product likely to knock the iPad off the number one spot is Apple's latest launch, a product still to be revealed, but that the tech buyers are predicting will go straight to the top of customers' wish lists.”

As for the looks of the iPad mini, not much is known, but a recent report suggested that the screen would measure 7.85-inches, be almost as slim as the iPod touch and measure a mere 7.2mm in depth. This will be a couple of millimeters slimmer than the current generation Retina Display iPad. The height of the iPad mini is expected to be similar to the Google Nexus 7 but the width is supposed to be a bit bigger. The design of the iPad mini would not be similar to that of the current generation iPads but instead would be pretty different and incorporate a third generation iPod nano-like design.

Apple component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad, confirming that the launch of the device is near. The report went on to mention that officials at the component suppliers, who did not wish to be named, said this week that Apple has asked them to prepare for the mass production of the smaller tablet.

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