Taiwan-based publication Liberty Times (translated, via Macotakarashared an interesting bit of information this evening about the rumored 7.85-inch “iPad Mini.” The publication reported that LG and AU Optronics were certified to supply the LCD panel for the iPad Mini. Furthermore, it goes on to claim that both manufacturers are working to ship the panels for production and for a release sometime during the latter half of 2012. The target-shipping amount for the iPad Mini is said to reach 6 million (which was previously reported), but I think there would be a need for more due to the influx of holiday sales.

Other news about iPad Mini parts include: TPK Holding will produce 4 million backlight modules; Chemi Innolux will produce 2 million; and Nissha Printing will produce the touch film sensor.

Rumors of the iPad Mini have really ramped up over the last few months, because Apple is said to take on Amazon and other competitors with a smaller 7.85-inch offering priced cheaper for customers just entering the tablet market. Many are skeptical that this product would see the light of day from Apple, but the biggest argument against it comes from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. He asserted one would need super-small fingers to navigate smaller 7-inch tablets.

According to rumors, the 7.85-inch iPad will not feature a Retina display as one would certainly hope. Instead, Apple may include the pixel dimensions that were featured on the original iPad (1024-by-768). This type of display will help Apple cut costs, and then it can sell the tablet at a low price.

Notoriously inconsistent DigiTimes reported in early March that Apple plans to release the 7-inch iPad in August.

At any rate, a 7.85-inch iPad does sound likely for this year—especially with news on part suppliers. Does anyone want to take a stab at what Apple will call it?

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