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The rumors of a smaller iPad retailing to compete with the cheaper, down-sized tablets now surfacing such as the Google Nexus 7 are incessant, and the latest reports regarding the purported 7.85-inch "iPad Mini" suggest the device will be manufactured in Brazil.

Most of Apple’s products are pieced together over in China, and it’s a Chinese source which has supposedly blown the whistle on the current arrangement to Japanese blog Macotakara. Their report cite the sources as being "reliable," a term we’ve become used to with rumor and speculation, and the device is said to be "the same height [sic]" as the Nexus 7, whilst having a "slight[ly] larger width."

Macotakara states, as per the source, that whilst the front projection size is slightly larger than that of rivals, the depth is considerably thinner than the Kindle Fire, offering a svelte form factor similar to the fourth-generation iPod touch.

Chinese outfit Foxconn, the main producer of Apple goods, has outsourced a lot of its work to Brazil, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched for the much talked about device to be constructed in the South American nation.

The prospect of a tablet as thin as the iPod touch is certainly an exciting one, and although the device seems as though it will be a tad wider than its current rival – the Nexus 7 – this makes sense given Apple’s 4:3 tablet ratio, compared with the 16:9 of most other vendors. Great for watching movies, the wider screen isn’t as useful when browsing the web or using apps, for example, so it’s of little surprise the device looks set to be a bit wider.

Although the iPod touch reference was only used to give a representation of how thin the device will be, it does beg the question of what Tim Cook’s company plans to do with its long-serving "iPhone without the phone part". It has been an important feature in offering users the web browsing, app using and game playing experience without the hefty price, but with the smaller iPad intended to be considerably cheaper than the current, 9.7-inch iPad, the consumer need for an iPod touch might disappear.

The device is thought to be releasing in October of this year – the same time we’re also expecting a new iPhone, and if both were to be releasing within a similar time frame, Apple fans would certainly be in for a big treat – and a little more expenditure than perhaps anticipated.

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