Further to similar predictions earlier this week, two major US sources have also reported that Apple will unveil an iPad Mini before the end of the year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Asian component suppliers are readying for mass production of the device this September. It concurs of reports that the machine will have a Google Nexus 7-like sub eight-inch screen.
Bloomberg is carrying a similar report, which quotes Sterne Agee & Leach analyst Shaw Wu as describing the device as Amazon, Microsoft and Google's worst nightmare”.
Despite arriving later to market than Amazon's Kindle Fire (already available), Google's Nexus 7 (orders will begin this month) and potentially Microsoft's Surface (coming soon”), the iPad Mini could potentially have plenty of market advantages.
For starters, it has around 225,000 existing apps on the Apple App Store to draw upon. Apple also runs its own line of dedicated retail outlets through which to sell the device.
Don't forget, too, that Apple is the master of selling its products at a fantastic gross margin. Using older components from previous models could potentially reduce costs by a significant amount.
Amazon, Bloomberg adds, still loses money on every Kindle Fire sold while Google is expected to break even with the Nexus 7.