Apple sends out invitations to suspected Oct. 23 iPad mini - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Apple sends out invitations to suspected Oct. 23 iPad mini unveiling

Is this the much-anticipated iPad mini? Will media invitations go out Oct. 10 as rumored. A Chinese website released these purported photos of the long-awaited product. (Source: bolopad.com) Is this the much-anticipated iPad mini? Will media invitations go out Oct. 10 as rumored. A Chinese website released these purported photos of the long-awaited product. (Source: bolopad.com)
Another view of the alleged iPad Mini, as released by a Chinese website. (Source: bolopad.com) Another view of the alleged iPad Mini, as released by a Chinese website. (Source: bolopad.com)
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(RNN) -The much-rumored Apple media invitation finally arrived, more or less on schedule, announcing an Oct. 23 event that seems to hint at the unveiling of a smaller, cheaper iPad and other cool stuff.

The invitation said "We've got a little more to show you," which seems to point to Apple's entry into the red-hot tablet market, exactly what magazines like Fortune and websites around the world.

But wait, there's more:

The popular Apple-centric website 9to5Mac said the Cupertino, CA, company will also announce new versions of the Mac mini "in two standard configurations, with different storage and processor options, and a third model that runs OS X Server."

On top of that, the website claims, Apple will unveil a 13-inch Macbook Pro with retina display to sell alongside the 15-inch Macbook Pro with the same feature unveiled last June.

But the big news is the smaller iPad, which may or may not be called the iPad Air, and whose price still remains a mystery as the holiday shopping season draws ever nearer.

The rumors started early in September, when the Chinese blog, bolopad.com released what it said were photos of the finished product, which it said would be a 7.85" device closely resembling the standard iPad.

Apple controls more than two-thirds of the worldwide tablet market, and the new entry will compete with other, smaller entries that have already been released.

Amazon's recently released Kindle Fire HD had an 8.9" screen and sells for $299, or $499 with 4GE wireless. Barnes and Noble's Nook  has a 7" touch screen, and the 8GB version sells for $179, with a 16G upgrade priced at $199.

Samsung, Acer, Asus and others have released lower-priced, smaller tablets to compete with the iPad, which sells for $499 for an entry-level third-generation product with the touted retina display.

The announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft's Windows-based Surface Tablet, a competitor to the current iPad, which starts at $499 and has a built-in keyboard.

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