Tawain media has reported the release, based on information from Chinese portal NetEase, which says Apple is placing orders with factories, including Honhai Precisions and Pegatron.

It comes a month after the Korea Times last month wrote that Samsung was supplying computer giant Apple with  “new PLS-based LCD technology for smaller iPads”. The source was an anonymous Samsung official who told the publication Apple was to release an iPad with a 7.86-inch screen, compared to the 9.7-inch screen of the regular iPad.

However, the rumours should be taken with a pinch of salt. A mini iPad has been mooted since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, and is yet to come into fruition.

Plus, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was never keen on 7-inch tablets, calling the devices ‘tweeners’ – too big to compete with smartphones, too small to compete with the iPad.