“While Apple Inc. component suppliers have started producing a tablet device smaller than the current iPad, makers of protective cases for Apple products are also preparing for the launch of what they refer to as the ‘iPad Mini,’” Juro Osawa reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“A search on Alibaba.com, China’s biggest business-to-business e-commerce site, turns up many postings of ‘iPad Mini’ cases in various colors and materials,” Osawa reports. “Some of the postings even say the cases are for ‘iPad Mini 7.85-inch tablet.’”

Osawa reports, “Ahead of every new product launch by Apple, Alibaba.com usually becomes the trading platform for cases purportedly made for the upcoming Apple product.”

Read more in the full article here.