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iPad Mini display production slated for August, says analyst

Production of the 7.85-inch display that could find its way to a smaller iPad is expected to begin in August, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

Production of the 7.85-inch display that is expected to be used for the smaller iPad will start in August, says NPD DisplaySearch.
Screenshot by Brooke Crothers

The gears could start to turn as early as this month for the production of a smaller iPad.

Production of the 7.85-inch display slated for use on a smaller version of the iPad should begin in August, an analyst told CNET.

"We expect panel production to start in August, with production ramping up to high volumes (more than a million units per month) in the fourth quarter," said Paul Semenza, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, in response to an e-mail query.

Semenza said this is DisplaySearch's "understanding of the activity for the 7.85 [inch] panel expected to be used in the iPad Mini."

If this production schedule plays out, it could indicate a late 2012 launch, he said.

Recent reports say the so-called iPad Mini will launch in September.

While the downsized iPad is being characterized as a 7-inch tablet like the Google Nexus 7, a screen size falling between 7 and 8 inches -- such as 7.85 inches -- would likely make the Apple tablet closer to the larger 8.2-inch Motorola Xyboard.

No solid word yet on pricing, though a report claimed it "is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad."

Whatever the exact price is, it's safe to say that the $199 Google Nexus 7 would be seen as a direct competitor to a smaller iPad.