Apple sends invites for October 23 event: iPad mini on deck?

Apple sends invites for October 23 event: iPad mini on deck?

Summary: A week today, Apple has a "little more to show" off in front of the world's media. Mark the days in your calendar, as it's likely the long-awaited iPad mini will be unveiled (in public -- *ahem*) for the first time.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPad, Tablets

Microsoft just can't have its own day, can it?

Apple, the arch-rival and market leader in the tablet space, has released invitations to the media to join the maker of shiny rectangles on October 23 -- a week from today -- for a special event.

Sister site CNET received the invitation this morning. "We've got a little more to show you," the invite read. The event will be held at 10 a.m. PT in San Jose, California. 

It goes without saying, Apple's announcement may have been strategically timed to dampen Microsoft's day, as the Redmond, WA.-based software giant enters the hardware foray with its own-branded tablet debut.

What's on the cards? By all accounts, it appears the Cupertino, CA.-based technology giant will unveil at least one smaller, daintier product: the iPad mini. Thought to be 7-inches opposed to its larger 9.7-inch larger counterpart, the device will compete with other major players in the petite tablet space, notably Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7. In parallel, the smaller tablet will take on Google's own mobile operating system, Android, which despite being installed on a wider variety of devices, it still only manages to score a slice of the overall mobile tablet platform market share.

Along with the supposed smaller tablet, it's likely that a range of other 'mini' devices will be paraded in front the world's media -- that is if the leaks and rumors are anything to go by. Apple is rumored to include a smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, along with a new range of Mac mini desktop computers as part of its media event line-up.

Read more: Microsoft Surface and iPad Mini: The race to the right price | Alleged iPad mini models, pricing leaks online | Apple suppliers: 10 million 'iPad mini' units ordered | Apple begins iPad mini production, says WSJ | iPad mini will be competition's 'worst nightmare,' says analyst iPad Mini: The Apple falls to Earth | Interest in the iPad mini could be weak: survey iPad Mini: Why I am buying one as soon as possible | CNET Purported iPad Mini pictures leak via Twitter

But as with previous events under the Tim Cook reign, much of what Apple attempts to keep secret has exploded onto the Web.

Earlier this week, the alleged iPad mini's pricings were leaked. Despite earlier reports claiming the highly anticipated tablet will arrive without cellular connectivity, a leaked screenshot suggested the iPad mini will arrive in two major versions: one with Wi-Fi and another with Wi-Fi + Cellular.

Exactly how the business and enterprise market will react to the smaller iPad is anybody's guess. Having said that, previous analysis suggests all eyes will be on not the iPad mini as such but its main rival in the business tablet space: the Microsoft Surface, which Microsoft priced the lowest-spec tablet below the iPad as it stands now. Pricing will be key. If Apple prices the iPad mini at the same or below the base model of the Surface, we could have a real-life tablet war on our hands.

CNET will be there live with all the live coverage and the breaking news, while ZDNet will have instant analysis as it happens and to follow.

Image credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET.

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPad, Tablets

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  • Why does everyone say 7"?

    By most reports it's 7.85". That's closer to 8"!! Sheesh!!
    Arm A. Geddon
    • Re: Why does everyone say 7"?

      Because everyone is jopi
    • Re: Why does everyone say 7"?

      Because everyone is hoping against hope that this will be the Nexus 7 killer.
  • Strategically timed indeed.

    Which means they will most likely be available immediately.
    • As of today, Apple's preannouncements have the same result

      No release date, no pricing.

      Both things we were told were "bad".
      • You should change your username to Trollbottom3.

        "As of today, Apple's preannouncements have the same result

        No release date, no pricing."

        Seriously, you're faulting Apple for not announcing a release date or pricing in the invitation to it's announcement? I thought even you weren't that dumb, but clearly I was wrong. Your disappointment in Apple's "preannoucements" is touching, though.
        • I wrote "as of today"

          Apple preannounced the iPad Mini months ago.

          Wait, you don't honestly believe that these "leaks" were anything less than fully orchestrated by Apple as a way of freezing sales for the competition, did you? Yikes. That's naive.

          Apple preannounces everything and they do it without stating pricing or release dates. That's bad, if we are to believe everything you guys (Apple fanbois) tell us.
    • Which product is explicitly (pre-)announced in the invitation above?

      Let's wait and see.
  • It Goes Without Saying...

    ...that Apple doesn't give a crap what anyone else is doing or when they do it.
  • Apple sends invites for October 23 event: iPad mini on deck?

    Whatever it is you can be sure its going to be a short lived announcement when Microsoft is releasing Windows 8 3 days later. That is where all the buzz will be for that week.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • The Tablet Wars

    Another Tablet manufacturer is emerging with performance-value Android tablets with some great features - Ainol Electronics -- with one model introduced last month, the Novo 7 Flame - priced at $189 at a site called TabletSprint - with a 1280x800 high resolution screen, 2nd Gen Dual Core CPU, an HDMI connection to your TV with Full 1080p (HD) Viewing - great for Movie Downloads through Blockbuster as well as your Viewing your own videos shot using the tablet's video recorder - with a 5 megapixel Rear Camera with AF & Flash, and a 2 MP webcam; plus Wifi, Bluetooth, a MicroSD Memory Card slot and a Micro-USB port -- Plus an option for 3G -- by far the most complete budget tablet available under $300 and worth looking at and comparing, especially for the price... Ainol Electronics won runner-up in CES / CNET 2012 "Best Tablet of the Year" Award -- And this new tablet certainly gives the new Nook, Nexus 7, Kindle HD & the new Mini some competition. Next month Ainol Electronics launches a larger version with a Hi-res 10 Inch screen and a price around $225 --
  • Probably Be A New Apple TV

    There's not a chance Apple will do a 7" tablet.