The next most buzzed about Apple product launch after the iPhone 5 could be on the horizon.
According to Reuters, the iPad Mini has an official release date, after a source leaked Oct. 23 as the day an event will be held by Apple to unveil the smaller version of the iPad. While an Apple spokesman declined to comment to Reuters, the “source familiar with the plan” said the event's purpose “to unveil a new product” expected to be the iPad Mini.
The Oct. 23 event for Apple is just days before Microsoft Corp. unveils Windows 8 and its new Surface tablet, slated for Oct. 26. The alleged release date event is also two days before Apple releases its earnings for the latest quarter.
Speculation of the release date for the iPad Mini was first reported by tech blog AllThingsD, which placed the unveiling at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium on its Cupertino, Calif., campus. Oct. 17 was originally the rumored release date, according to Wired, but no invitations for an event were sent to the press.
The iPad Mini is expected to be a thinner model and feature a 7.85-inch display at 1024×768 resolution as well as the redesigned Lightning dock connector for between $200 and $250. This less expensive version of the iPad is slated to rival its cheaper competing tablets which, according to analysts, could hurt Apple’s margins but “prevent its arch-rivals from dominating an increasingly important computing segment,” Reuters reported. Competitors include Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablet the Google Nexus 7, both prices at under $200.