It sounds as though the long-rumored iPad Mini is set to become a reality on October 17th. According to a report from Fortune, Apple is poised to send out invitations on October 10th for an event one week later, where the company would unveil its newest gadget.
Fortune cites “multiple sources” and notes that all the evidence it has appears to line up with Apple’s normal scheduling protocols.
The iPad Mini (if that’s what it’s called–nothing has been revealed yet) is expected to have a screen in the range of 7.85 inches. For comparison, the standard iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.
Though industry insiders have long argued that it makes sense for Apple to enter the smaller tablet market, which is currently being served by Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7, it’s unclear what price point Apple would target. The aforementioned tablets sell for about $200, whereas the iPad starts at $500.
Apple just unveiled a new version of the iPod Touch at the $200 price point and it would be awkward to sell a tablet (essentially just a larger iPod Touch) at a similar price. Perhaps $300 then? Apple currently sells the iPad 2 (the previous generation) for just $400, so might customers opt for the larger iPad 2 over the barely cheaper iPad Mini?
Ultimately, we don’t really have any idea what Apple’s plans are. Though the tech giant completely failed to keep information about its recent iPhone 5 unveiling secret prior to the launch, the company has done a good job of keeping us all guessing about the potential launch of a smaller iPad. Until the invitations are actually sent out and the product is unveiled on stage by Tim Cook and company, we’ll just have to keep guessing.