Small Apple tablet chatter gets louder from suppliers

Leaks about a so-called "iPad-mini" continue to trickle out from Asia-based publications, which in turn are apparently getting their information from component manufacturers.

Don't believe Apple will release a small tablet? Maybe not. But that hasn't stopped a constant trickle of reports citing Asia-based suppliers who are reportedly gearing up to make parts for the device in the third quarter of this year.

AU Optronics and LG Display will supply the 7.85-inch screen for the Apple device, according to Taipei-based Economic Daily News--that report was cited in the Macotakara blog in a post dated March 6.

Other suppliers listed in the original Chinese-language article include: Radiant Opto-Electronics and Forhouse, which will supply the backlight module; Renesas Electronics, which will make driver ICs (integrated circuit); and Toshiba, which will deliver the NAND flash memory.

An Asia-based report in December also cited AU Optronics and LG as display suppliers.

And an analyst told CNET at that time that Apple was showing increasing interest in making a small tablet based on a 7.85-inch screen.

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