iPad Mini 7-in rumors: Price, release date, features

Here comes the 7.8-inch iPad Mini, preceded by the rumors. Commentators are prognosticating on the price, what features it'll have (or not have), and its release date. But Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is saying nothing, natch.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers recall Steve's famous quote:

Steve Jobs: DOA

"The current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. ... We don't think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen."

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Did you miss me?

Lorraine Luk lucked out on a lead:

...suppliers to Apple in Asia...have received orders to make more than 10 million...smaller tablets. ... [It] indicates that Apple believes demand...will be strong, despite stiff competition.

...

strong consumer demand for Samsung...and Amazon’s 7-inch [tablets] shows that there is demand for a smaller tablet. ... [Apple's] share of the market has been slipping...69.6% in the second quarter, down from nearly 84% in 2010.  MORE

 
Christopher Breen and friends opine thuswise:

...upstarts such as the Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 are chipping away at Apple’s once seemingly insurmountable lead. ... Steve Jobs once derided 7-inch tablets, saying [it] “isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps.” ... The rumor mill suggests that [it has] a screen closer to eight inches...which would help..
...
How should it price a smaller tablet...when you can pick up a Kindle Fire for $159? ... Apple may need to limit its features, storage space, or processor speed.  MORE

 
But Eric Slivka muddies the waters:

[We] received word from a developer who has seen..a previously unknown "iPad3,6" device...in his app analytics. ... This new iPad [has] either an A6 chip...or a variation on Apple's custom A6 design.
...
[It] does not appear to represent the "iPad mini"...as that device is said to be a derivative of the iPad 2 running Apple's cheaper A5 [and has] already been seen in logs carrying "iPad2,5" and "iPad2,6" designations.  MORE

 
Lest we get carried away, Natasha Lomas dampens our fever:

Apple hasn’t confirmed any of the myriad reports, rumours and speculation it’s planning to make a smaller iPad, so the existence of the device remains unconfirmed. ... [But] evidence for the ‘iPad mini’ continues to mount.
...
[Rumors also say] Apple would...launch the iPad mini on October 10, with the device due to ship on October 17.  MORE

 
Meanwhile, Andrew Dodson thinks an iPad Mini would be a barnstormer:

While the iPad Mini won’t be priced at a competitive $200-$250...it will still be cheaper than a new iPad. ...we can expect the iPad Mini to start at...$299 for a 16 GB unit.
...
It’s stocking-sized. ... It should be one of the hot buys of the Christmas season.  MORE

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