iPad Mini Rumors Mount

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As Apple ( AAPL) reportedly preps its iPad Mini, new reports hint at who may make the touchscreens for the device.

Chinese web site Donews, by way of BrightWire, reports that both AU Optronics ( AUO) and LG Display are making the touchscreens for the device. The iPad Mini is reportedly set to be announced this fall. Some reports, however, have said it will be announced with the iPhone 5, while others say the device will be announced later in the year. Both AU Optronics and LG are part of Apple's supplier list.

There has been plenty of chatter that the iPad Mini will have a screen size around 7-inches, smaller than the 9.7-inch display on the existing iPads. Apple competitors such as Google ( GOOG), Samsung, and Amazon ( AMZN), however, have shown there's a market for 7-inch tablets. Amazon is reportedly announcing a new Kindle Fire tablet next week in Santa Monica, California.

The iPad, which has 68% of the tablet market according to IDC, has come under attack from these competitors, but so far, none of them have been able to make much of a dent in Apple's market share. The iPad Mini could be seen as an attempt to thwart any semblance of competition, maintaining Apple's lead in the tablet market.

The iPad Mini's features may be very similar to the iPad, except screen size. It's also possible Apple may include its A5X chip in the new device, as well as front and rear cameras. The A5X made its first appearance in an Apple device with the launch of the new iPad earlier this year. It's not yet known whether the smaller device would have Long Term Evolution (LTE) capabilities, Retina Display, or if it would come in multiple models, à la the iPad 2 and the new iPad.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment for this story. Neither AU Optronics nor LG has yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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