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iPad mini tipped for 23 October, same week as Windows 8

The mooted date for the itsy-bitsy new Apple tablet is the same week Microsoft's Surface goes on sale.

The iPad mini has a new rumoured debut date -- Apple is now tipped to lift the lid on its teeny-tiny tablet at an event on 23 October.

The rumour comes via AllThingsD, citing "people familiar with Apple's plans". 23 October is a Tuesday in a few weeks' time, and is just a few days before Microsoft's Surface tablet, featuring Windows 8, is scheduled to go on sale.

This isn't the first iPad mini launch rumour -- an earlier rumour from Fortune suggested invites to Apple's bash would be sent out on 10 October, which those keeping a close eye on the calendar will realise has already been and gone, with nary an invite to be seen.

As such -- and as with all rumours -- it's best to take this one with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless the timing would make sense, as in addition to stealing Microsoft's Windows 8 thunder, Apple could overshadow the launch of Windows Phone 8 and the rumoured LG Nexus smart phone by putting the iPad mini on sale the following week.

Yes, it's shaping up to be a busy month for tech. The CNET UK offices will be well stocked with energy drink and hummous, and writers suffering from typing cramp will be permitted to hold their injured hands in the company fridge for up to four consecutive minutes.

The iPad mini is reckoned to sport a 7.85-inch display and the new Lightning port connector. Leaked photos of casings (including the one above) suggest a squarish design and a rear-facing camera. Could it be cheap enough to compete with the £160 Nexus 7, though?

We'll be bringing you all the very latest tech news as it happens, so stay tuned. In the meantime tell us -- what would you like to see from a smaller iPad? Stick your sentiments in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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