The Wall Street Journal cited sources from within Apple's Asian component suppliers as stating that "mass production" of the new tablet is now underway.
The device is expected to have a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display (LCD) with a lower screen resolution than the 2048x1536 Retina 9.7-inch display in the new iPad that launched in March.
> Apple iPad Mini 'to look like large iPod Touch'
But Apple's iPad Mini would arrive in a very competitive market for small-screen tablets, including already-established models such as Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire, along with the NOOK HD range from Barnes & Noble.
It was reported by Forbes this week that Apple will hold a press conference for the iPad Mini, or iPad Air as some people are calling it, on October 17.
This would be just over a month after the firm announced the new iPhone 5 and iPod products in a packed end of year for the company.
LG Display and AU Optronics are thought to have started manufacturing the LCD panels for the smaller iPad last month.
Apple may put a slightly higher price on the tablet and instead focus on the quality of production and range of features, as it has done with previous products.
British technology site Trusted Reviews said that its sources were quoting a price of around £200 for the iPad Mini, half the cost of the entry-level iPad.
According to Forbes, invitations to Apple's latest launch would be going out on October 10, and the event will go ahead on October 17.
If Apple follows previous launch patterns, pre-orders for the tablet would begin on October 19 and the device would hit stores a week later in key international markets.