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Thinking about picking up an iPad mini sometime soon? You might want to hold off.

We could see a new version of Apple's smaller iPad in Q3 2013.
We could see a new version of Apple’s smaller iPad in Q3 2013.

Technology news site Digitimes is reporting that Apple has cut shipments of the iPad mini — down to 10-12 million units — in a move that may signal the next-generation iPad mini is on its way. The belief is that the new model would drop in the third quarter of this year.

After releasing three generations of the larger, 9.7-inch iPad, Apple launched the iPad mini alongside the fourth-generation iPad with Retina in November. The mini’s 7.9-inch display was a response to the popularity of 7-inch devices like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7.

Apple priced the entry-level mini at $329 — a price much more expensive than Google’s and Amazon’s tablets (which are both $199), but less expensive than the larger iPad, which rings up at $499. The mini has been an extremely popular addition to the iPad lineup and has led many to believe that its sales are actually cannibalizing those of the larger iPad. While Apple is likely making a healthy profit from iPad mini sales, it is believed that the margins on the smaller tablet are less than those of the iPad with Retina.

The first generation iPad mini launched without one feature that many iPhone and iPad fans have grown accustomed to — a “Retina” display, which is a display containing such a high pixels-per-inch (PPI) count that it’s nearly impossible to identify individual pixels from a certain distance. It is expected that the next-generation iPad mini would launch with this much-improved display, as well as several other improvements.

This latest iPad mini rumor comes hot on the heels of a rumor regarding the next-generation Nexus 7. Google is said to be readying its next version of the Nexus 7 tablet and may plan to unveil the device at its Google I/O conference in May. Apple is no stranger to using leaks as a weapon against competing products. Could this be one of those instances?

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.


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