Coming from DigiTimes, it claims that the device will return in a not-so-mini 10.6-inch form factor shared by the Surface RT, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 and could hit the shelves as soon as October.
The report cites a source on the supply chain side, which reckons that the new model will be slimmer, lighter and have more sales clout than the canned version.
Production of components for the new device is due to start in August, the source said, followed by mass production in September ahead of release.
According to various reports, Microsoft pulled the plug on the original model at the eleventh hour over fears that it would struggle in the market against competing smaller tablets from its hardware partners.
The company neither confirmed nor denied this, instead revealing its demise in a single line in its second-quarter earnings report, which read: "Current year cost of revenue included Surface inventory adjustments resulting from our transition to newer generation devices and a decision to not ship a new form factor."
The Surface Mini was widely expected to launch alongside the Surface Pro 3 and sport an ARM or Qualcomm-based processor powering Windows RT.
It's possible that the device will instead arrive as the Surface 3, meaning Microsoft would have to decide whether to stick with its much-maligned, cut-down OS or have it go up against the Surface Pro 3 by opting for full-fat Windows 8.
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