According to suppliers, that is roughly double the order that were placed for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter.
The figure indicates that Apple believes demand for the product will be strong, despite stiff competition in the market, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the Journal, earlier this month, Asian component suppliers have already started producing the smaller 7.85-inch tablet.
Apple hasn't confirmed when the new device will be available, but AllThingsD, reported last month that Apple plans to unveil the smaller tablet later this month.
Apple's iPhone 5 received a lukewarm response, with critics saying it lacked the 'wow' factor.
The iPhone 5 met the expectations laid out by gadget geeks and tech analysts ahead of the unveiling last month, but offered few surprises to give Apple shares, already trading near record highs, another major kick.
"There is not a wow factor because everything you saw today is evolutionary. I do think they did enough to satisfy," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of the wealth management company Destination Wealth Management.
Other industry analysts turned quickly to speculating about what else was in Apple's product pipeline ahead of the crucial end-year holiday season, especially as the company stayed mum about an oft-rumored TV device or a smaller iPad.
"We would really like to see the iPad Mini in the product offering for the all important holiday quarter. They still have time," said Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund. "As soon as we see that, we will have more conviction about the stock heading into the final quarter."
Apple has sold more than 243 million iPhones since 2007, and the device ushered in the current applications ecosystem. But Samsung now leads the smartphone market with a 32.6 percent share followed by Apple with 17 percent, according to market research firm IDC. Both saw shipments rise compared to a year ago, with Samsung riding its flagship Galaxy S III phone.
Going on sale Friday from $199 with a data plan, the iPhone 5 will sport a 4-inch "retina" display, ability to surf a high-speed 4G LTE wireless network, and is 20 per cent lighter than the previous iPhone 4S.