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Reports: Apple building 10M -- or is it 8M? -- iPad minis

October 8, 2012: 8:51 AM ET

For an unannounced product, the iPad's little sister is getting a lot of buzz

Source: Techmeme

FORTUNE -- Last Thursday, Taipei-based DigiTimes, quoting the usual "unnamed sources" in Apple's supply chain, reported that two Asian suppliers, AU Optronics (AUO) and LG (LGLD), were having trouble fulfilling Apple's (AAPL) order for 9 to 10 million LCD screens for a smaller (7.85-inch) version of the iPad. The issue: Production problems that forced the suppliers to throw out one of every five displays coming off the press.

"A goal of five million panels for iPad Mini was set for the third quarter but later had to drop to one million due to low yield rates, with LG Display and AUO comprising 60% and AUO 40%, the sources said."

Given DigiTimes mixed track record, the story didn't get much play. But when the Wall Street Journal Monday reported with less detail essentially the same rumor -- that Apple had ordered unnamed Asian component suppliers to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablet -- the story got front-page Techmeme treatment.

By Monday morning, I'd counted two dozen stories that picked up the Journal's rumor without mentioning that DigiTimes had it four days earlier.

We're looking at Oct. 17 as the day Apple will unveil what most people are calling the iPad mini.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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