iPad Mini to start at $329, will ship Nov. 2

Apple sets the price and date for the smaller version of its iPad tablet. The device comes in six pricing configurations based on memory and wireless connection.

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The day has finally come. Apple is delivering an iPad Mini with a starting price tag of $329.

The new device, a 7.9-inch version of the 10-inch iPad tablet, goes on sale Friday and ships on November 2, Apple announced from the California Theatre in San Jose, Calif. The $329 iPad Mini will have 16GB of storage and will be Wi-Fi only.

The industry has been speculating about the once-fabled tablet since 2009, even before Apple released the full-sized iPad. Despite the late Steve Jobs' insistence that consumers didn't want a smaller iPad, the company moved to introduce one after the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble successfully launched their low-cost, smaller tablets. Google launched its own $200 Nexus 7 tablet over the summer.

The iPad Mini comes in six pricing configurations. In addition to the 16GB tablet with Wi-Fi at $329, the 32GB tablet with Wi-Fi is $429, and the 64BG version is $529. For devices with Wi-Fi and 4G cellular connections, the 16GB tablet is $459, the 32GB is $559, and the 64GB is $659. These devices are shipping two weeks after their Wi-Fi-only counterparts.

The market for smaller tablets is expected to grow quickly -- and is one Apple didn't want to miss out on.

James Martin/CNET

Update, 11:22 p.m. PT: Updated with pricing configurations.