NPD DisplaySearch says Apple has a production plan for a small tablet.
Apple has plans for the so-called iPad Mini and it may be only a matter of getting production up and running, according to NPD DisplaySearch.
"For the 7.85-inch panel, there's a business plan for it, there's a mass production target for it. And we know that it's for Apple," Richard Shim, an NPD DisplaySearch analyst, told CNET.
"I don't know the name of the product, but I know it's going to be a tablet," he said.
NPD DisplaySearch talks to companies in the "supply chain" — firms that make the components and assemble products.
And Shim said production is likely imminent. "Everything is getting set up. We know the lines. We know how many panels are going to come out of the sheets of glass."
That said, Shim added that certitude is elusive until he has confirmation that production has actually begun.
"These are supply chain indications. By the very nature of the supply chain, these plans can be altered," he said.
That report says the iPad Mini will use an IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) display, tech that yields thinner displays, among other merits.
Though Shim couldn't confirm an IGZO display for the iPad Mini, he did say Apple is telling its suppliers that it wants to move products to that technology.
Related reports have claimed that the iPad Mini will be priced at $299. Estimates for production runs are about 35 million units in 2013.
We look forward to the iPad Mini here in Thailand