The tech blogosphere has been abuzz with rumors about the new iPad mini, with an official announcement from Apple expected on Oct. 23. But even though Apple hasn’t so much as confirmed the device, multiple accessory providers have reportedly been preparing for it for months.
Upward of 20 suppliers apparently have accessories ready for the market—some are already boxed and labeled—and stores have begun gearing up displays. Developers haven’t seen the product yet, but some manufacturers in Asia claim to have a “pilot” version they used to build the accessories.
As for the mini itself, reports currently peg the reduced screen size at about 7.85 inches. Other expected tech specs include a slimmer design and Lightening for cable connectivity. Projected price points in the $275 range have led some sites to speculate that the iPad mini will help Apple more directly compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7, and other smaller tablets.
Apple reportedly has ordered 10 million units with its Asian production chain, suggesting the company expects the mini to outsell its larger sibling.