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Smaller iPad mini goes into production, sources say

  • An artist's conception of what an iPad mini might look like, alongside the "big brother" fullsize iPad and the smaller iPhone.Martin Hajek / MartinHajek.com

  • An artist's conception of what an iPad mini might look like, alongside the "big brother" fullsize iPad and the smaller iPhone.Martin Hajek / MartinHajek.com

Asian suppliers for Apple have started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the current iPad, executives at component makers said, as the Silicon Valley company tries to stay competitive against tablets from rivals such as Google and Amazon.com.

The smaller tablet will have a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display with a lower resolution than the latest iPad, which was released in March, two of the people said. The screen on the current iPad measures 9.7 inches diagonally, a size that hasn't changed since the first model was released in 2010.

South Korea's LG Display Co. and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp. began mass production of the LCD screens for the new device last month, the people said.

Technology blog website AllThingsD, a sister publication of The Wall Street Journal, reported last month that Apple planned to unveil the smaller tablet in October.

Apple didn't immediately respond to requests to comment.

Read more on Apple's plans for a mini iPad at the Wall Street Journal.