Rumors of a so-called “iPad mini” have persisted for the two and a half years since the original iPad was introduced. But now it appears that this small, more affordable Apple tablet for emerging markets will become a reality within the next six months.
Further evidence of this potential reality surfaced Wednesday when Apple supplier Wintek came under the microscope for its massive uptick in sales for the month of July.
The touch panel manufacturer is, without question, a major player in Apple’s iPad production. Such a massive sales spike hints at the company producing something big this summer.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White thinks its the iPad Mini. White believes that sales for Wintek for the month of July came in “much higher than is the seasonal pattern” for a reason.
“This July sales print represents the third strongest MoM growth rate for Wintek that we have on record for the Company through 2005 and clearly the best July performance,” White said this morning. “Wintek has generated over 50% of sales from Apple in programs such as the iPhone and iPad.”
“If related to Apple, we believe the strength at Wintek could be due to the ramp of the ‘iPad Mini,’ rather than the iPhone 5 that is expected to use in-cell touch panels from leading LCD panel makers,” he concluded.
According to the rumor mill, Apple will likely introduce the iPad mini before the close of 2012.