While rumors of an iPad Mini have been around as long as the original iPad, recent reports have suggested that Apple really does have a smaller version of its popular tablet in the works. At the beginning of this month, Daring Fireball's John Gruber confirmed that Apple has a 7.85-inch tablet in the works, though he said it may never actually be released.
Now, though, a report out of China claims that the iPad Mini is a sure thing. According to a report by the Chinese site NetEase (Google Translation) the iPad Mini will be releasing in the third quarter of 2012, and it will retail for somewhere between $249 and $299. The report also claims that Foxconn and Pegatron have already received orders for the tablet, which will have an initial production run of 6 million units.
The iPad Mini, NetEase claims, is being targeted at the pending release of Windows 8 tablets which will release later this year alongside the Windows 8 operating system. The iPad Mini would also be well-positioned to compete with the Kindle Fire and other Android-based tablets.[H/T: Kotaku]