Apple is reportedly set to unveil the iPad Mini, a smaller version of its flagship tablet, on Oct. 23.
According to a report Friday from All Things Digital, "people familiar with Apple's plans" have confirmed that the new tablet will make its debut at an invite-only event on Oct. 23. A location hasn't been disclosed, but All Things Digital expects it may take place at Apple's Town Hall Auditorium, at the tech giant's home base of Cupertino, Calif.
Reports of an Oct. 23 launch come as music to the ears of eager Apple fans excited to get their hands on the new device. Apple was largely expected to start distributing invites to an iPad Mini launch event on Oct. 10, but after the day came and went without a peep from the tech giant, many wondered if Apple was facing production delays, or was even planning to unveil a smaller-size iPad at all.
A separate report Friday from The Wall Street Journal served as further confirmation of the new device being soon-to-come, noting that smaller iPad cases are already available on Alibaba.com, a major e-commerce site based in China.
The Journal also reported last week that Apple component suppliers, including LG Display and AU Optronics, already have started producing LCD screens for the new device.
Not much has been revealed as far as iPad Mini specs, but the tablet is expected to sport a 7.85-inch display, compared to the 9.5-inch display found on all three previous-generation iPads. All Things Digital also noted that the iPad Mini is expected to be a bit thinner than its predecessors, and include the new Lightning connector that debuted with the iPhone 5.
Assuming Apple sticks to the Oct. 23 target, the iPad Mini will arrive just three days before Microsoft's anticipated release of Surface, the software giant's first-ever tablet PC, running its new Windows 8 OS.
PUBLISHED OCT. 12, 2012