Apple iPad Mini: The ultimate rumor roundup

A smaller version of the iPad is coming, you say? What is this, 2009? No, really -- we've heard this before.

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Lately there's been no shortage of rumors that Apple's got a smaller iPad on the way. The only problem is that we've heard this song and dance before.

Don't believe us?

CNET has rounded up just about every claim that a smaller iPad is on the way, going back to before the original iPad was announced.

It's a collection we plan to keep lovingly updated, and also one that should serve as a tasty grain of salt to take with any rumors that make their way out in the next few months. (Editors' note: This roundup was originally published May 18, 2012. It has been updated regularly since then, as you can see below.)

See also iPhone 6: 9 most-wanted features, Apple HDTV rumor roundup , and iPad Mini: What we expect .

2012

October 17, 2012
Alleged iPad mini screen, battery leaked in photos
Parts reseller ETradeSupply, which posted accurate photos and videos of Apple's iPhone 5 casing some three months before its official debut, posts images of what it says is the 8-inch LCD screen for Apple's smaller iPad, as well as its battery. The photos suggest Apple will stick with a 4:3 screen ratio.

October 16, 2012
iPad Mini, anyone? Apple sets Oct. 23 event
Apple sends out invitations for a special event to be held Tuesday, October 23, starting at 10 a.m. PT. The tagline: "We've got a little more to show you."

iPad Mini will come in 24 flavors and two colors
A pair of reports from Apple Insider and Cult of Mac point to what they say is a dizzying array of models for Apple's iPad Mini. Twenty-four different versions, to be precise. The report adds that there could be four storage options from 8GB up to 64GB, with Wi-Fi only and 3G/4G LTE variants.

October 14, 2012
iPad Mini configurations and prices reportedly revealed
Technology blog MobileGeeks posts a screenshot of alleged iPad Mini pricing from a German retail store. The prices run anywhere from 249 Euros ($325) for an 8GB, Wi-Fi only version, all the way up to 649 Euros ($847) for a top-of-the-line, 64GB Mini with Wi-Fi and cellular data.

October 12, 2012
Apple to show off iPad Mini at Oct. 23 event, report says
Citing sources, AllThingsDigital adds a little detail to its earlier claim, saying Apple will hold its special press event on October 23. Following the report, iMore, The Loop, and The New York Times weigh in, saying the date is legit.

A purported iPad Mini atop a third-generation iPad.
A purported iPad Mini atop a third-generation iPad. Sonny Dickson

October 9, 2012
Purported iPad Mini pictures leak via Twitter
9to5Mac researcher Sonny Dickson posts photos said to be of the iPad Mini and the new Lightning dock connector to his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

iPad Mini may only come in Wi-Fi version, report says
The Guardian, citing unnamed industry sources, said Apple's upcoming iPad Mini will support only Wi-Fi, instead of the company offering a version with both Wi-Fi and cellular networking. The report adds that there will be a revised version of Apple's larger iPad with a Lightning dock connector and a chipset that will work on U.K. 4G LTE network Everything Everywhere.

October 7, 2012
Apple reportedly orders 10M iPad Minis for fourth quarter
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has ordered up 10 million iPad Mini units for production from overseas component makers. As a frame of reference, Apple sold 5 million iPhone 5s during the device's launch weekend, and more than 3 million third-generation iPads during its launch weekend.

October 4, 2012
iPad Mini suffers from production woes, analyst says
Topeka Capital analyst Brian White tells investors he's heard Apple's smaller iPad is tough to produce, something he thinks could push the launch back into November. Nonetheless, White says Apple could sell 5 million to 7 million units by the end of the year.

October 3, 2012
Apple starts production of iPad Mini, claims WSJ
The Wall Street Journal claims Apple is already producing the iPad Mini in China. The sourcing behind the information comes from component suppliers within Apple's supply chain. The news comes just two days after a report from another outlet, saying production was under way in Brazil.

The purported finished back of an iPad Mini with cellular connectivity.
The purported finished back of an iPad Mini with cellular connectivity. ukrainianiphone

October 2, 2012
Photos show purported iPad Mini parts -- black and white
Apple news site UkrainianiPhone posts photos of a rear iPad Mini casing, screens, and a front bezel. The outlet claims these parts were snapped from inside a Chinese factory. The big change: a black metal back that looks a whole lot like the style found on the iPhone 5.

October 1, 2012
Invites for iPad Mini event due next week, rumor claims
Citing an unnamed "major Apple investor," Fortune says Apple will send out press invites to an iPad Mini-centric news event on October 10, with the actual press conference occurring the following week.

iPad Mini already in production in Brazil, says report
Japanese Apple blog Macotakara says production of the product is under way in a "Brazilian factory." No other details on parts or physical form factor are offered, apart from the fact that the same source says the unit is missing a microphone on its backside, a rumored design cue currently found in Apple's iPhone 5.

September 18, 2012
New iPad Mini model hits the Web, but is it the real thing?
Chinese site BoLoPad publishes photos of what it claims is the iPad Mini, a 7.85-inch tablet with an aluminum back. The device looks much like earlier leaks with a Lightning connector on the bottom and other buttons and ports in the same places.

September 17, 2012
Apple's iPad Mini said to be made by Pegatron, Foxconn
Taiwan's Economic Daily News reports that Pegatron and not Foxconn is doing much of the manufacturing of Apple's smaller tablets. The outlet says that Pegatron, which has manufactured devices for Apple before, will take 50 percent to 60 percent of the production orders.

September 11, 2012
iPad Mini mock-up pics emerge
Just a few days after some purportedly leaked photos of the rear casing, French Web site Nowhereelse.fr posts mock-up shots of the iPad Mini next to various devices, including Apple's then-unreleased iPhone 5, and third-generation iPad.

September 6, 2012
iPad Mini case photos leak, show few changes
Chinese site Digi.163 posts photos of what it says is the back casing of a smaller iPad, complete with a slot at the bottom for Apple's new Lightning plug technology. There aren't too many surprises here, with the headphone jack, camera, and volume buttons in the same spots as previous models.

Purported shots of the iPad Mini rear casing.
Purported shots of the iPad Mini rear casing. tech.163.com

August 27, 2012
Apple's 7-inch tablet will be named iPad Mini, says report
What's in a name? If it's Apple, that's often the question, with the company frequently changing up its naming conventions partway through a product's life cycle. According to Japanese Apple-tracking blog Macotakara, Apple will keep things simple, with a throwback to its first crack at a smaller iPod, going with "iPad Mini."

August 25, 2012
iPad Mini to launch in October, says report
According to a report by All Things Digital, Apple will hold a special press event in October to debut a smaller version of the iPad. That will come after a September 12 outing of a new iPhone model. No details on price or features are offered.

August 24, 2012
Alleged iPad Mini cases reveal spot for rear camera
Cases said to be for a 7-inch version of Apple's tablet crop up with a hole on the back for a rear camera. The accessories were spotted for sale in China by Giz-China.com, but were not actually made by Apple.

A mock-up of a smaller iPad.
A mock-up of a smaller iPad. 9to5Mac

August 21, 2012
Production of rumored iPad Mini to hit 4M per month
DigiTimes reports that Apple is working to ramp up 4 million units per month of a miniature iPad, beginning in September. Based on that math, the company would have several million ready to go for a rumored mid-October launch.

August 16, 2012
Rumor: Apple to include ITO coating on iPad Mini
According to AppleInsider, Apple's smaller iPad will be the first Apple device to sport a superthin coating of indium tin oxide (ITO) from Taiwan-based Efun Technology. The coating is designed to reduce interference and crossed signals and could improve connectivity capabilities.

August 14, 2012
Imagining the iPad Mini: Mockups multiply
Apple blog 9to5Mac posts mock-ups of what the smaller tablet will look like, citing sources that have provided general design details. The chief visual feature (besides the smaller size) are narrower margins on the side of the tablet's screen.

August 3, 2012
Here's Apple's e-mail thread about a 7-inch iPad
Among the pieces of evidence to crop up during the U.S. trial between Apple and Samsung was the release of an internal e-mail in which top Apple executives discussed interest in a smaller version of the iPad. In it, Apple's iCloud and music chief, Eddy Cue, writes to current Apple CEO Tim Cook, iOS software chief Scott Forstall, and marketing chief Phil Schiller mentioning a positive conversation with then CEO Steve Jobs about a 7-inch version of the iPad. "I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time," Cue wrote.

August 3, 2012
iPad Mini display production slated for August, says analyst
NPD DisplaySearch says it expects the production of panels for a smaller iPad to begin in August, ramping up into million-units-per-month territory in the fourth quarter of the year.

July 24, 2012
iPad Mini to debut in September, says analyst
September is the month Apple will debut its smaller iPad, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, Kuo said he believes Apple will roll out the smaller tablet after the company takes the wraps off its next iPhone.

July 15, 2012
Report says iPad Mini will be priced to move
Joining some of the other smaller iPad claims, a New York Times report says Apple is working on a 7.85-inch version of its tablet. The noteworthy takeaway from the report is a mention that the device "is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad."

Purported engineering samples of the iPad Mini.
Purported engineering samples of the iPad Mini. GottaBeMobile

July 10, 2012
Purported iPhone 5, iPad Mini 'engineering samples' crop up
Photos of alleged engineering samples for both rumored (and expected) Apple gadgets surface on blog GottaBeMobile, depicting size and features. In the iPad Mini's case, it's a piece of orange, molded plastic -- not a fully working device.

July 8, 2012
iPad Mini could take design cues from iPod
Japanese Apple enthusiast site Macotakara claims the iPad Mini will sport a 7.85-inch screen and a design akin to Apple's third-generation iPod nano. Few other details are offered, besides the suggestion that the unit might not have 3G.

July 4, 2012
Apple iPad 'Mini' rumors heat up; launch seen by year's end
A pair of reports from MarketWatch and Bloomberg suggest Apple is at work on a miniaturized version of its tablet, due out later this year. Citing two anonymous sources, MarketWatch says the screen will be "smaller than 8-inches," while Bloomberg pointed to a slightly vaguer "7 inches to 8 inches" size diagonally.

July 3, 2012
Apple's plans in motion for iPad Mini, says DisplaySearch
Speaking with CNET, an NPD DisplaySearch analyst says that "there's a business plan" for 7.85-inch panels, and that "there's a mass production target for it. And we know that it's for Apple."

June 29, 2012
Analyst predicts 7.85-inch iPad 'Mini' for October
In a note to investors, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves says he "anticipates" a 7.85-inch iPad, with 8GB of storage at a $299 price tag, in time for October. Hargreaves notes that this could end up cannibalizing sales of Apple's usual 9.7-inch iPad by about 25 percent.

June 4, 2012
Apple looks to iPad Mini, iPhone 5 to deliver 'exciting' September?
More analyst chatter about a smaller tablet, this time from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. In a research note, White said to expect an "exciting" September that would bring a new iPhone as well as a smaller iPad. The sourcing behind that came from "local contacts" within the Taipei supply chain.

May 17, 2012
iPad mini to debut during second half of 2012?
Citing evidence gathered by the firm's global research team, Barclays analyst Ben Reizes says a smaller, 7-inch version of the iPad was in the works. Reizes also offers up the unusual suggestion that the small tablet would actually live in the iPod Touch category.

May 10, 2012
Latest iPad mini rumor puts price at $200 with 8GB storage
Blog iMore says Apple's got an iPad mini in the works that will sport 8GB of build-in storage, have a 2,048 by 1,536 pixel 7-inch display, and will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $200 to $250. Citing a reliable source behind this information, the outlet says this device will be in the hands of consumers this October.

May 9, 2012
iPad mini may be in the pipeline, says analyst
Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes considers a smaller version of the iPad a possible addition to the iPod family. "Our global research team still sees some evidence of this product in the supply chain -- and we wouldn't be surprised if it wound up in the iPod Touch category if it indeed sees daylight," Reitzes said in a note to investors.

May 4, 2012
Who wants an iPad Mini? About one buyer in two
If Apple were to offer a smaller iPad, slightly more than half of those polled by shopping site PriceGrabber said they'd purchase one. The question asked if buyers would be interested in a 7-inch iPad model that cost between $249 and $300. 59 percent of those who responded to CNET's own poll with the same question said they'd purchase such a device.

April 16, 2012
New iPad Mini rumor: 6M coming in third quarter
A report from Chinese portal Netease suggests Apple's at work on producing some 6 million units of a smaller iPad model that would be ready to ship by the third quarter of 2012. The outlet suggested the tablet could sell for $249 to $399.

April 5, 2012
7.85-inch iPads said to be kicking around Apple's labs
An off the cuff comment from Daring Fireball's John Gruber during a podcast notes that Apple's got a "shrunk down" version of the iPad in its labs at 7.85 inches with a 1024 by 768 pixel display, but that it's unclear whether Apple would do anything with it.

One rumor bucks the 7-inch trend, saying Apple's working on something closer to Samsung's Note.
One rumor bucks the 7-inch trend, saying Apple's working on something closer to Samsung's Note. Sarah Tew/CNET

March 28, 2012
iPad mini to be closer in size to Samsung's Note?
According to Japanese Apple news and rumor site Macotakara, Apple's working with LCD suppliers to get a 5-inch panel ready for an upcoming product that will ship next year. That's according to "a reliable Chinese source," the site said. That would be two to three inches smaller than most other rumors have suggested for a smaller iPad's size, but still sport a so-called "Retina Display."

March 13, 2012
Samsung may have let slip Apple's iPad Mini plans
In one of the most unusual rumors of the bunch, the Korea Times reported that Apple's got a 7.85-inch screen version of the iPad in the works for release by the end of 2012. That information comes from an unnamed Samsung official, the outlet said.

March 5, 2012
Is Apple eyeing a 7.1-inch iPad?
Tech blog Venturebeat says that Apple's shopping around for a 7.1-inch screen for a smaller-sized tablet, down from the much-rumored 7.85 inches. The news came just ahead of Apple unveiling its third-generation iPad, which was full-sized.

March 1, 2012
7.85-inch iPads in line for production
Citing "makers in Apple's iPad supply chain," DigiTimes says a 7.85-inch iPad is in its sample stage, with "volume production" set for the third quarter of 2012, suggesting a holiday release. Once again, the site says the move is in response to Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet. The site adds that the tablet would run $249 to $299.

February 22, 2012
Smaller iPad in 'testing stage,' says research firm
In a note, Taipei-based market research firm TrendForce alluded to the fact that smaller iPads were currently undergoing testing, with a possible release in the fourth quarter of 2012. "Smaller iPads...are still in the testing stage; whether or not these prototypes will enter mass production remains unknown," the company said.

February 15, 2012
Apple cooking up 8-inch iPad with help from suppliers
Citing "people familiar with the situation," the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has been involved with component suppliers to make an iPad in the 8-inch range, roughly two inches smaller than Apple's first three tablets.

2011

Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire next to the iPad.
Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire next to the iPad. Sarah Tew/CNET

December 16, 2011
7.85-inch iPad on track for 2012
DigiTimes says Apple's on track to launch a 7.85-inch version of the iPad by the fourth quarter of 2012. The move is primarily to fend off competition from Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire, the outlet says.

October 18, 2011
7.85-inch screen samples sent to Apple, report says
Taiwan's United Daily News reports that Samsung and AU Optronics have sent Apple samples of a 7.85-inch screen, presumably for use in a smaller iPad. The report cited sources in Apple's supply chain as the lead on that information.

October 12, 2011
'iPad Mini' to take on Kindle Fire?
An industry source familiar with the supply chain in Asia tells CNET talk of a 7.85-inch iPad is ramping up.

2010

December 10, 2010
iPad Mini rumors surface again
Reuters says Apple is "preparing new iPads" one of which is "about half the size of the current tablet computer, and will include front- and back-mounted cameras" to make use of Apple's FaceTime video-conferencing service.

November 6, 2010
About that 7-inch iPad
Citing analyst and industry sources, CNET contributor Brooke Crothers says there's "a lot of original design manufacturer activity around a 7-inch iPad" or "a 7-inch tablet-like device."

October 7, 2010
Apple working on 7-inch iPad with Retina Display and 128GB of storage
Taipei-based suppliers told Ticonderoga Securities that Apple has a smaller, 7-inch tablet in the works that features a "micro or mini USB" port, Retina Display, and 126GB in built-in flash storage.

September 24, 2010
Apple's 7-inch iPad all ready to go
Chinese rumor site Shanzai.com says Apple's got a 7-inch version of the iPad in the can, and that it will look a lot like Apple's iPhone 4. The source behind the news was the "social scene in Shenzhen," the Chinese city where Apple's hardware manufacturing partner Foxconn is located.

September 20, 2010
7-inch iPad arriving in 2011
Citing supply chain checks, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar says Apple's working on a 7-inch iPad model with front and back-facing cameras.

August 17, 2010
Apple's got a 7-inch iPad ready for Christmas
Taiwan-based Economic Daily News says that Apple's got a 7-inch iPad in the works that will be ready to go by the holiday shopping season. The report goes so far as to say which suppliers are providing which parts. That includes LCD panels from Chimei Innolux and touchscreens from Cando Corporation.

iLounge's mock-up.
iLounge's mock-up. iLounge.com

August 4, 2010
7-inch iPad arriving soon
Apple-related news and review site iLounge says that a 7-inch model of the iPad is "substantially finished and ready for announcement either later this year or early in 2011." Few other details are offered, however.

July 13, 2010
Apple sourcing OLED panels for mini iPads
DigiTimes says Apple's second-generation will use a 5.6-inch and 7-inch OLED panels by the fourth quarter of 2010. Citing "sources from component makers," the site says Apple already placed orders for the screens.

April 8 2010
Apple 'expected' to launch 5 to 7-inch iPad in 2011
Citing "upstream component sources," Taipei-based DigiTimes says that Apple has put in orders for 5 to 7-inch versions of its iPad that will hit store shelves in the first quarter of 2011. The result would be a sub-$400 tablet (versus the existing iPad's $499 starting price) aimed at people who just want to do a lot of reading as opposed to typing, the outlet offers.

2009

September 29, 2009
Apple's tablet started at 7-inches
In a list of "ten new details on the Apple tablet" iLounge notes that the first version of the iPad was designed with a 7-inch screen, although it "was judged to be too small." The outlet offered that Apple moved to a 10.7-inch screen for the final design, a spec that was an inch off to the final, first-generation design.

August 4, 2009
Apple eyeing at least 5 different screen sizes for tablet
Now-defunct investment bank Kaufman Brothers told investors that Apple had purchased a bevy of screen sizes for devices ranging from 4 inches all the way up to 12 inches. These displays were purchased by Apple over a two year period, and could have been from anything from samples to production units, the firm said.

Did we miss one? Send it to me using the e-mail me button on the top right of this page and I'll add it in with a shout out.

 

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