The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed Chinese suppliers for the report about the 7.85-inch tablets. Apple hasn’t confirmed the launch or existence of such a tablet, but the company is rumored to be planning an Oct. 17 launch event for the product, which has been called the “iPad Mini” by the press.
An order of 10 million illustrates tremendous confidence in demand for such a product. In its fiscal third quarter, which ended on June 30, Apple sold 17 million iPads vs. 11 million in the second quarter. It’s not clear what effect a smaller iPad would have on the larger units. The production of a smaller version is something of a surprise: Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs had previously pronounced 7-inch tablets dead on arrival.