It’s official. Apple will unveil a smaller version of the iPad at an event in San Francisco next Wednesday, with the company already having sent out one of its iconic press invitations to tech media around the world.
The confirmation of the October 23 announcement date comes after a previous report claimed the reveal would actually occur on the 17th. But All Things Digital confirmed over the weekend Apple would unveil its latest gadgets on the 23rd.
“We’ve got a little more to show you,” the company said in its new invitation. Apple’s invitations regularly hint at what will be unveiled – the “little” in the text may very well be referring to a smaller version of the iPad.
Not that it’ll be a huge surprise. Case pictures have already leaked.
Such a device would thrust Apple into the already popular seven-inch format, with the Google Nexus, Kindle Fire and Galaxy Tab all dominating the space.
Analysts, however, believe a smaller version of the iPad will sell extremely well. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects four to six million sales by Christmas, while RBC Capital Markets expects eight million.
The release of the invitation has also done well for Apple’s shares – they rose 2% after the invitation went out to $US646.
It’s a timely event. Microsoft is about to release its new Surface tablets, which the company is touting as some of the best on the market. They’ll also be the first powered by Windows 8.
But like most of its product ranges, Apple may very well dominate the seven-inch form factor if it sets a good price.
So what do we know about the iPad Mini? It’ll feature a 7.8 inch screen, a Lightening connector, a thinner body and bigger speakers. It’ll also run on exactly the same iOS package used on the iPad and iPhone – it’ll just be smaller.
New reports also indicate Apple may update the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini models at the event.
This story first appeared on SmartCompany.