iPad mini shown off on 17 October, sources hint

Invites for the iPad mini event are reportedly being sent out on 10 October, suggesting a launch a week later.

Apple's rumoured smaller iPad could be getting an airing in just over a fortnight, with the mystery tablet potentially going on sale as soon as late October, fresh reports suggest.

Fortune says it's spoken to a major Apple investor, who, while asking to remain anonymous, believes from 'multiple sources' than invites to an iPad mini launch event will be sent out on 10 October -- that's next Wednesday.

Apple tends to send out invites to events mere days before the bash itself (don't you hate those short-notice shindigs?), so if that's true, we'd be looking at an unveiling the following week.

The iPhone 5 was flaunted on a Wednesday and went on sale the following Friday, as was the new iPad, so a lid-lifting ceremony on 17 October followed by a 26 October launch would make sense.

Needless to say, this is all guesswork, but a number of tips and hints from shadowy sources have pointed to October as the month we'll finally see Apple unwrapping a miniature iPad.

Nothing on this rumoured device is known for sure, but one thing I do know is that cheap, smaller tablets from major manufacturers are springing up everywhere. Google's got the quad-core Nexus 7 , Amazon is launching the Kindle Fire HD , and US bookseller Barnes and Noble is poised to bring its Nook HD tablet to the UK too.

Apple isn't generally a company to follow industry trends, but those three tablets all cost about £160, and could easily persuade potential iPad buyers to go for the cheaper option. If Apple thinks it could lose ground to rival tablet-makers, that may persuade it to make a smaller, cheaper iPad.

Is the iPad mini real, or is it just fantasy? Tell me in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

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Update: That didn't happen after all, as Fortune was brave enough to point out. Carry on, nothing to see here.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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