Is the iPad Mini Almost Here?

As reported by Ars Technica, Apple has scheduled a media event for October 23rd. Sent to only select members of the tech media, the invitation to the event has the tag line “We’ve got a little more to show you”, fueling speculation that the iPad Mini is finally here.

Speculation of a smaller iPad has existed about as long as the iPad itself. With 7″ tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 making inroads into Apple’s 70% share of the tablet market, Apple releasing a smaller, cheaper tablet is considered to be pretty much a certainty. Apple, true to form, has made no public comments regarding the existence, or lack thereof, of the iPad Mini.

While it has been routinely referred to as the iPad Mini, it’s anyone’s guess at this point as to whether that will be its official name.  It’s pretty ironic how the name ‘iPad’ was pretty universally panned in 2010 with the iPad’s initial launch and now many people use it synonymously with tablet.  Kind of like Kleenex and facial tissue.  But I seriously digress.

The general scuttlebutt is that the iPad Mini will have a 7.85″ non-Retina display with a price tag of anywhere from $249 to $399.  Apple pretty much shocked the tech world back in 2010 when it priced the iPad at $499.  Speculation had been that it would be priced at $799 or more.  Will they do the same with the iPad Mini?  If they could manage to price it at $199, I think it would pretty much decimate the rest of the tablet world.  $249 would allow them to make serious inroads.

There is also some speculation that an iMac refresh will be announced at the event as well.

The event is scheduled for 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST) at the California Theater in San Jose, California.

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