It seems it was just a year or two ago that Apple was able to keep a secret or two, but in today's world we end up knowing everything before product launches. AllThingsD is reporting that the Apple iPad mini will be revealed at a 23 October event in California. Like the iPhone 5, we have seen just about all there is to know about this still rumored 7.85 inch tablet with Lightning connector. Millions of Apple fans will buy it for sure, but pricing will determine how many others pick up this luxury device and whether it kills off the competition in the low cost small tablet market.
I use my Google Nexus 7 a few times a week, mainly to experience Android Jelly Bean, but it is a convenience device and at $200 that is fine. I still prefer my large 10 inch iPad 3 for media consumption and writing posts with an external keyboard. The iPad mini would likely replace the Nexus 7 and I am very interested in seeing if Apple can offer up a compelling story for potential buyers. I think ebooks will be a big part of that story and maybe we'll see an iBooks update to go with it.
If the 23 October date is accurate, this will be just three days before Microsoft's Surface tablet availability, but I think these two devices are far enough apart in usage scenarios that one will not impact the other. The iPad mini is more of a Nexus 7 or even Amazon Kindle Fire competitor while the Surface RT tablets are competitors to the large iPad.