Digitimes has published an interesting report this evening, saying Apple will begin the production of a 7.85-inch iPad in Q2 2012. Apple will reportedly begin selling the smaller iPads prior to Q4 2012, but will also sell another iPad in Q1 2012 — presumably the iPad 3.

Apple is likely to launch a 7.85-inch iPad prior to the fourth quarter of 2012 in addition to a new iPad scheduled to be released at the end of the first quarter, according to sources in the supply chain.

In order to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire — which has been selling very well — Digitimes says their sources say Apple has been persuaded to manufacture the 7.85-inch tablet to compete.

However, in order to cope with increasing market competition including the 7-inch Kindle Fire from Amazon and the launch of large-size smartphones from handset vendors, Apple has been persuaded into the development of 7.85-inch iPads, the sources indicated.

LG Display and AU Optronics will reportedly be the manufacturers for the 7.85-inch panels, and will hit the supply streams in Q2 2012.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of smaller iPad, as it’s been in the rumor-mill for quite sometime. More iPad 3 rumors have also been popping up over the last few months. Check out the list of articles below.
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