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Friday, August 31, 2012, 06:27 am PT (09:27 am ET)

Apple taps AU Optronics, LG for 'iPad mini' displays - report

Apple's so-called "iPad mini" will feature 7.85-inch displays built by AU Optronics Corp. and LG Display Co., a new report on Friday revealed.

Citing four people familiar with Apple's plans, Bloomberg has reported that both companies will provide Apple with screens for the new iPad expected to launch in October. That corroborates a report from late last week that claimed Apple plans to hold a media event in October to introduce its new, smaller iPad.

Friday's report once again indicated that the new iPad will feature a screen that measures 7.85 inches diagonally. That's the same size that has been specifically rumored for months.

Apple's anticipated entrance into the smaller-sized tablet market comes as Google has released the Android-powered Nexus 7, while Amazon is gearing up to hold a media event next week, where the online retailer is expected to unveil new devices, including a next-generation Kindle Fire.

Amazon also declared in a press release this week that the 7-inch Kindle Fire has accounted for 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S. market, but the company was quickly criticized for failing to disclose exactly how many tablets the company has sold to date. The Seattle-based company has also boasted that the Kindle Fire has been its No. 1 best-selling product on Amazon since its launch less than a year ago.

iPad mini Mockup

Mockup of alleged "iPad mini." | Source: iMore


Details on purported screen suppliers for an "iPad mini" come as a pair of previously unknown iPad models were spotted by Instapaper creator Marco Arment in development logs. The two "curious entries" appeared in device stats for his iOS application on Friday, and showed a device that is "effectively an iPad 2" with an A5 processor and 512 megabytes of RAM.

It's expected that Apple's smaller iPad will feature a screen resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels, which is the same resolution as the iPad 2 and would allow iPad applications to run without modification. But the same number of pixels would be packed into a smaller 7.85-inch screen, making it a higher resolution display than the iPad 2, which currently sells for $399.