Here's Apple's Next Hit Product

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --If there are any doubts about the iPad Mini being a hit for Apple ( AAPL), those doubts can be put to rest.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is ordering up to 10 million units of the iPad Mini for the fourth quarter, according to some Asian component suppliers.

One of Apple's Asian suppliers, AU Optronics ( AUO), is getting ready to ship 4 million panels for the iPad Mini in the fourth quarter, according to Brightwire.

Apple's iPad Mini: What It Means for Investors

Although Apple hasn't confirmed the existence of the product, many details have already leaked via sources. The tablet is expected to have a screen size of 7.85-inches, while the larger iPad has a 9.7-inch screen. It will look very similar to the larger iPad.

Apple is reportedly expanding its tablet offerings, as it seeks to compete with Amazon ( AMZN) and Google ( GOOG) on the lower end.

The iPad has 68% of the tablet market, according to IDC, and a smaller iPad would allow Apple to continue to grab even more market share as its competitors nip at its heels on the lower end.

Pricing of the device is not known yet, though some are expecting Apple to make it competitive with other smaller tablets, perhaps as low as $299. Recently, TheStreet polled readers asking what they expect the device will cost. Just more than 30% of those surveyed expect Apple will charge $349 for the iPad Mini.

Apple shares were lower in premarket trading Monday, off 0.6% to $648.69.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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