The iPad mini is slated to be announced October 23. However, a recent report by The Next Web states that the iPad mini will share the stage with announcements pertaining to iBooks and education.

According to The Next Web, “In what will likely be completely unsurprising news to many, we’ve now heard from multiple sources that Apple’s as-yet-unannounced iPad mini event will have a strong focus on iBooks. Since an iPad mini would likely be squarely aimed at those who wish to partake of media on their tablets, that would make a lot of sense. The primary purpose of such a smaller tablet would be to act as a conduit for Apple’s content, namely iBooks publications and movies.”

iBooks now completely interactive

iBooks to share the stage with the smaller tablet

While there is no official confirmation of the existence of this device, leaks about it have been aplenty. The 7.85-inch tablet is now expected to be unveiled on October 23. A recent report by AllThingsD stated that Apple will hold a special event this month, at which it will showcase a new, smaller iPad. People familiar with Apple’s plans told them that the company will unveil the so-called 'iPad mini' on October 23rd at an invitation-only event.

AllThingsD had speculated that the unveiling will take place at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium, which is the venue where the brand has announced a range of key products, including the iPhone 4S. A recent report indicates that the 7.85-inch tablet will now come with both Wi-Fi as well as cellular capabilities. It appears that the Cupertino-based brand is not holding back any punches with this smaller iPad, and launching it in various storage capacities such as 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and the top-of-the-line model at 64GB of internal storage.

The top of the line iPad mini is expected to be sold at approximately €649 for the 64GB Wi-Fi plus cellular version. The cheapest model, an 8GB Wi-Fi only version is believed to retail for approximately €249.

That being said, Apple has been losing its market share in the tablet segment to the likes of Amazon with its Kindle Fire, and Google with its Nexus 7 tablet. For Apple to stay in the run, and cater to a customer base that would want a smaller tablet, Apple would have to launch a 7-inch tablet to cement its throne as the leading tablet manufacturer. The Google Nexus 7 tablet is faring exceedingly well in the market and rumours suggest that a 3G version of the tablet may also be in the works. Apple would need to step into this segment to battle the increasing competition from other manufacturers.

Speculating on the competition at hand, while the prices of the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire are similar, both of which are Wi-Fi only, the Nexus 7 seems to be the device of choice as it comes with beefier hardware along with access to Android v4.1 (Jelly Bean) as well as future Android releases. However, Apple has its own iOS operating system. When it does announce the iPad mini, it will most likely launch it with iOS 6 straight out of the box.

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