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Reuters reaffirms 'iPad mini' expected to debut at Oct. 23 special event

Following a similar report on Friday, Reuters says Apple will be holding a special event in late October, where the company is expected to announce a new, small form factor tablet dubbed the "iPad mini."

Sources familiar with Apple's plans said the Cupertino-based company is preparing to unveil the iPad mini on Oct. 23, which will supposedly be priced to compete with less expensive offerings from Amazon and Google, reports Reuters.

While failling short of specifically naming the iPad mini as the device to be announced, the source said Apple is set to unveil a "new product" at a "major" Oct. 23 event, just days before Microsoft is slated to roll out Windows 8 and the Surface tablet.

iPad mini Rendering

iPad mini rendering. | Source: Martin Hajek


Saturday's report comes one day after AllThingsD first broke news that Apple is likely to debut the 7.85-inch iPad at the as-yet-unannounced event, reaffirming months of rumors surrounding the new device.

According to Topeka Capital analyst Brian White, who claims have seen the device during a trip to visit component suppliers in Asia, the device is comparable to other small form factor tablets like Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire.

"We actually had the opportunity to play with a pilot iPad Mini used by one of the vendors," White said. "This 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove and we were easily able to tuck the device in our sport coat, offering consumers a more mobile iPad experience for certain use cases."

Despite not yet being announced, the purported iPad mini is already being scrutinized by analysts, who speculate that Apple can expect to maintain its usual high profit margins if the device is priced between $299 and $349. This would be in stark contrast to the Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, both of which are said to be sold at-cost.

"The biggest cost in a tablet is the display," said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. "On a mini, the display will be a bit cheaper."

Apple is rumored to be using a display with a resolution comparable to those found in its non-Retina iPhones.

Press outlets have yet to receive invitations to the rumored Oct. 23 unveiling, though Apple usually gives a week's notice before holding a major event. A separate report on Friday claims the product launch will focus on Apple's iBooks, suggesting the company may market the smaller iPad as a content consumption vehicle.