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While Apple has yet to officially confirm the existence of an "iPad mini," most everyone continues to expect it to debut this month, including The Wall Street Journal, who's now claiming Apple has ordered 10 million of the junior tablets for launch.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that buzz over Apple's rumored smaller iPad "is already building," with Cupertino placing reportedly placing an ambitious initial order for the new tablet launch.
"Some component suppliers to Apple in Asia say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter," the report on Sunday night revealed. "That is roughly double the order that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter, these suppliers say."
The move isn't entirely surprising -- Apple practically owns the tablet market with the 9.7-inch iPad, so it stands to reason that a smaller, less expensive model would only cement that position further.
However, Android-based rival tablets from Samsung and Amazon are gradually chipping away at Apple's domination. Analysts believe the ultimate fate of the so-called "iPad mini" will be all about price.
“iPad mini will be a big hit if Apple prices it below $300,” remarked RBS analyst Wanli Wang.
Amazon is already selling an updated Kindle Fire for nearly half that price, while the company's latest HD model starts at $199, a price initially set by Google's Nexus 7 back in June.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter