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iPad mini to follow iPhone 5 in October, sources claim

The smaller iPad will debut at a separate event to the iPhone 5, sources say.

Apple will announce the iPad mini at a separate event to the iPhone 5, according to sources.

The iPhone 5 is widely tipped to launch on 12 September, but then Apple will announce the iPad mini in October, unnamed sources have told AllThingsD. Previously, reports had claimed Apple would announce both devices at the September event.

If Apple does announce an iPad mini, it would make sense to hold two separate events, rather than roll them into one. Both announcements will be huge, so two announcements would generate more media coverage. One event would likely relegate one of the devices to less space than it'd otherwise receive -- and Apple is way too media-savvy to let that happen.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber agrees, writing recently that he couldn't see the iPhone sharing the stage with any other device. "Why have another Apple product battling with the iPhone for the top spots in news coverage?" he wrote. "The iPhone is too big, too cool, and garners too much attention -- and it's in Apple's interest to keep that attention undiluted."

Previous rumours said the iPhone would share the stage with the iPad mini, but I don't think it'll be the case. Even a minor upgrade to the iPad is seen by Apple as worthy of its own event, so something as radical as a smaller iPad would definitely get its own launch night.

The iPhone 5 is rumoured to go on sale a few days later, on 21 September. It'll have a smaller dock connector, if leaks are to be believed, which is likely to infuriate accessory makers everywhere. Apple's iPad mini is said to have a 7.85-inch screen, and to be an attempt to cut off competition from Google's Nexus 7 tablet.

Do you think Apple would announce both devices at one event? What would you like to see from both? Let me know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Ciccarese Design