A surplus of Apple (AAPL) rumors is always expected ahead of the company’s earnings reports, and the faucet is wide open on Tuesday. Apple is planning to release a smaller version of its wildly popular iPad tablet shortly after the next-generation iPhone launches this fall, one industry watcher believes. Plugged-in KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who purportedly shed some light on “iPhone 5″ specs recently, says that Apple’s next iPhone will launch in September followed closely by the release of the much-rumored “iPad mini.”
“IPhone 5 to debut in September,” Ming-Chi wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. “But due to in-cell touch panel and casing yield rate limits, ability to offset older models’ shipments decrease will be moderate.”
The analyst continued, “Though shipments of iPad mini’s components will start in August, the new iPad line will end production, ready for transition to a modified New iPad line. As such, component shipments will drop in August as iPad mini’s components shipments growth will be offset.”
Ming-Chi’s note that a tweaked version of Apple’s current third-generation iPad will be released around the same time mirrors earlier reports, which claimed Apple is planning some internal redesigns that address heat issues and reduce Apple’s costs.
According to earlier reports, the iPad mini will be as thin as an iPod touch and will feature a 7.85-inch display and a price ranging from $249 to $299. The redesigned sixth-generation iPhone is expected to feature a 4-inch display, 4G LTE, NFC, and a redesigned case that was recently examined on video.