"Apple hasn’t officially confirmed plans to launch a smaller tablet, but the buzz is already building. Some component suppliers to Apple in Asia say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter. That is roughly double the order that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter, these suppliers say."
So reports the Digits blog of The Wall Street Journal. [Note: The WSJ is behind a firewall and may charge you to read its story.]
The article continues, "The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Asian component suppliers have already started producing the smaller 7.85-inch tablet. Apple hasn’t confirmed when the new device will be available, but AllThingsD, a sister publication of The Wall Street Journal, reported last month that Apple plans to unveil the smaller tablet later this month. Analysts say strong consumer demand for Samsung Electronics 5.3-inch Galaxy Note and Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire shows that there is demand for a smaller tablet. Apple currently offers only one size –the 9.7-inch iPads."