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Apple 'expecting huge iPad mini demand'

Firm has reportedly placed orders for over ten million units this year

Apple is expecting huge consumer demand for iPad mini.

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That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which claims to have been informed by component suppliers in Asia that Apple has placed an order for more than ten million units of the new tablet in the fourth quarter of 2012 - that's double the number placed by Amazon for its Kindle Fire tablets in the same period.

Apple has yet to officially confirm plans to launch a smaller tablet, but the device is expected to feature a 7.85 inch display produced by LG and AU Optronics.

Last week sources told Fortune that the company will send out press invitations to an iPad mini reveal event on Wednesday October 10, then hold said event a week later.

An October iPad mini release date has previously been widely rumoured.

Alleged iPad mini photos were published online last month.

RBS analyst Wanli Wang told the WSJ that the biggest challenge facing Apple is pricing iPad mini competitively against similar devices, which include Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire HD ($199) and Google's 7-inch Nexus 7 ($199). "iPad mini will be a big hit if Apple prices it below $300," he suggested.

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