According to the latest report coming out of Japanese site Macotakara, Apple’s oft rumored 7-inch iPad, which had been dubbed as the iPad Mini in the press in the past, may be manufactured in Brazil by Apple’s partner Foxconn. The device is being speculated to enter production come this September for a release come this holiday shopping season.
The site claims that its reliable Chinese source had stated that the CNC machine to create the unibody enclosure has just been fabricated in China. Foxconn will use these CNC machines to manufacture the iPad Mini’s unibody casing at its production facilities in Brazil.
In the past, the iPad Mini has been speculated to arrive with a 7.85-inch display. Sources who have seen the device says that the iPad Mini would have the same height as the Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet, but will be slightly wider. The device is said to be slim and would have an iPod Touch-like thickness.
There are also speculations about the inclusion of 3G wireless mobile broadband on the iPad Mini. It is said that a number of carriers will support the smaller iPad tablet, though not all carriers that currently support the iPad will have access to the iPad Mini at launch. It’s unclear if U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless are on the short list of carriers that will stock the iPad Mini with 3G/4G wireless networking.
The smaller iPad Mini will most likely be introduced at a lower price than the current 9.7-inch iPad in an effort to combat competition from cheaper Android tablets with smaller form factors, such as the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 at $249, the $200 Amazon Kindle Fire, and the soon to be available $200 starting price on the Google-branded Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet. In the past, Apple had denied rumblings of a smaller iPad and late CEO Steve Jobs had stated that the 7-inch form factor was too small to lend to a good user experience. The iPad Mini may debut at a $249 price point according to Brief Mobile.