Apple hasn’t even announced an “iPad mini,” but the “Wall Street Journal” ( says some component suppliers in Asia have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter.

That’s almost double the order that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter, these suppliers say. The figure indicates that Apple believes demand for the product will be strong, “despite stiff competition in the market,” notes the “WSJ.”

Meanwhile, in a note to clients — as reported by “AppleInsider” ( — RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani expects Apple will sell 21.6 million 9.7-inch iPads in the December quarter. If the iPad mini launches, the analyst predicts an eight-million-unit, $2-billion net benefit for the company. That would result in total iPad sales of 29.6 million for the holiday quarter.