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Small tab, high hopes: Apple expects 10 million sales of the rumoured iPad mini.
And that’s just pre-Christmas.

Apple is forecasting big demand for the 7″ mini Pad, rumored to be released later this month. .

Reports suggest Cupertino has pre-ordered a massive 10 million of the little 7.85″ guys already, from its Asian plants.

And that’s just in Q4 orders alone, a vital boom quarter in the lead up to Christmas, and Apple is clearly anticipating mass demand for the smaller, cheaper iPad which will rival Samsung’s 7″ Galaxy Tab, Google’s Nexus 7 & and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Apple is tipped to announce the iPad mini before Christmas although an exact date is still elusive. It is widely expected to take place around the 17th of October, with invitations to be issued later this week.


Click to enlarge
The mini-me iPad is beleived to be currently in production at Asian factories, with several apparently leaked images doing the rounds on the Net.

Apple is in an extremely strong position launching a miniature tab – its 9.7″ iPad already accounts for 70% of the tab market and was shipped a whopping 17 million tabs in Q2 (April-June), according to analysts IDC.

 
Local anlaysts Telsyte forecast tablet sales would exceed 2.3 million in Australia during 2012, with Apple’s iPad likely to account for every three out of four tabs sold, leaving Android brands like Samsung and Acer to pick up the scraps.

7.85″ iPad mini is likely to sport Apple’s new Lightning dock connector, but is rumorued to be lacking a rear facing camera or a Retina screen a la iPhone 4S.


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