With all eyes set towards WWDC next month for any news pertaining to the next version of Apple’s iOS, it is easy to put out of our minds the persistent rumor about Apple releasing a miniature version of the iPad. However, that rumor is indeed still persisting, and the latest information to come from Taiwan seems to suggest that the rumor could soon become a mini reality.

TheLibertyTimes, one of the top media outlets in Taiwan, ran an article this morning which claims that Apple is intending to release their “iPad Mini” during the final few months of 2012. Obviously we have no confirmation whether such a product is in the pipeline or not, let alone a guaranteed release schedule, but the speculation surrounding the proposed 7.85-inch Apple tablet won’t seem to die down.

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The publication is also reporting that both LG and a company called AU Optronics, who came into existence through a merger between Acer Display Technology and Unipac Optoelectronics, have received official certification to put them in a position to supply the required LCD panels for the miniature tablet. If the report has any foundation, then those who may be interested in a smaller version of the iPad may be about to get even more excited, as the two companies involved in producing the displays are also reportedly ramping up production in order to ship the panels in time for release during the third or fourth quarter of this year.

In an additional iPad Mini related conjecture, the production responsibilities of the backlight modules for the Mini device will fall into the hands of TPK Holdings and Chemi Innolux, who will produce 4 million and 2 million units respectively. The numbers of required backlight modules seems to fall in line with the reported initial production run of Apple wanting to ship 6 million of the new miniature device. Nissha Printing have been contracted to manufacturer the touch film sensor that adorns the beautiful display.

The jury is still out on whether the iPad Mini, or whatever it may be called, is actually going to come to fruition, but history has shown us, whenever there are consistent rumors, it usually turns out to be something tangible in the end. With various competitors offering a tablet device smaller than Apple’s hugely popular iPad, it seems feasible that the company would want to compete only if they could produce a device that they are confident of, and would blow the competition out of the water.

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