There’s a lot of smoke now billowing around the “7-inch iPad”. This report is hardly the first, nor will it be the last. My only question is the timing.
Good rationale about doubting the October release.
If Apple were to launch a $200–300 7.8” iPad, they’d probably sell a ton of them for the holiday season — which means they’d need to start ramping up production pretty soon, if not already. If they were doing that, we’d probably see legitimate-looking parts leaked from the supply chain by now, but as far as I know, we haven’t.
It’s unlikely that Apple would be able to manufacture millions of iPad Minis without someone leaking some parts a few months ahead of their release. So if we don’t see such leaks by September, I don’t think this product, if it exists, will be released this year.