iPad Mini to be unveiled on October 23

The much-rumoured iPad Mini – a 7.85-inch version of the popular full-sized 9.7-inch iPad – will be revealed in a special event on October 23, according to AllThingsD.

Earlier it was thought Apple would be distributing media invitations on October 10 ahead of an October 17 event but that date passed without a murmur.

AllThingsD cited “people familiar with Apple’s plans” as the source for the October 23 iPad Mini reveal which is likely to be held at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

If Apple follows the iPhone 5 timeline of launch to release, we can expect to see the iPad Mini hit stores on Friday, November 2.

There have been a number of iPad Mini mock-ups on rumour sites which show a smaller 7.85-inch iPad with a similar silver rear panel than the regular iPad.

Other mock-ups have shown coloured rear panels like the new iPad Touch fifth generation.

The iPad Mini would also be expected to feature the smaller Lightning dock connector like the iPhone 5 and the iPod Touch fifth generation and the new iPod Nano.

The fact Apple didn’t take the iPhone 5 screen size larger than 4-inches has lent some weight to the introduction of a 7.85-inch iPad Mini.

A larger 4.5-inch or 4.8-inch screen size would have made the gap between the iPhone 5 and the rumoured iPad Mini too small.

Apple usually releases its iPads in March, as was the case with the iPad 2 in 2011 and the new iPad earlier in 2012.

But the rumoured move to put the iPad Mini into the market at this time of year suggests Apple wants to take advantage of the Christmas shopping season.

If the iPad Mini is competitively priced, as expected it, will be a popular choice.

It is believed the iPad Mini will have more in common with the iPod Touch fifth generation that the full sized iPad in the fact that it will likely be available as a wi-fi only device.

Apple would encourage users to use their iPhone as a personal hotspot if they wanted to connect to the internet outside of wi-fi networks.

The 7-inch tablet market has been a popular one of late with the Google Nexus and the Kindle Fire finding a healthy audience.

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