It is widely believed that Apple will showcase a new product, the iPad mini, in the fourth quarter of this year. As its name suggests, the iPad mini is a smaller version of the popular iPad tablet from Apple. While there is 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.

Now, as per a report published by AllThingsD states, “Apple will hold a special event this month, at which it will showcase a new, smaller iPad. People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called “iPad mini” on Oct. 23 at an invitation-only event”.

Samsung claims an iPad Mini coming this year

iPad Mini to be announced soon

AllThingsD speculates 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.

This iPad mini is believed to be Wi-Fi only, and will not come with cellular capabilities like the iPad models. A recent report by The Guardian stated that industry sources have indicated that they do not expect to see 3G-capable versions of the iPad mini. That would allow Apple to produce it for cheap, and limit the top price of the product, retaining mobile broadband connectivity for its pricier iPad line.

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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