Apple (AAPL) Sets ‘iPad Mini’ Launch Event for October 23

AllthingsD reports that Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday issued press invitations to an Oct. 23 special event at the California Theater in San Jose. The event, at which the tech giant is widely expected to reveal a smaller form-factor iPad and a smaller MacBook Pro with retina display is scheduled to take place at 10:00 am PT.

The text of the invitation however, doesn’t hint at what will be unvelied, beyond saying that “We’ve got a little more to show you.”

Apple is reportedly planning to unveil its much-anticipated smaller iPad, dubbed the iPad Mini, with a screen thought to be about half the size of the regular iPad and to start at $249 or $299. According to reports, Cupertino is also planning for production of 10 million units of the device this quarter with the smaller tablet going on sale in late October or early November.

Apple appears to be trying to upstage rival Microsoft (MSFT) by holding the iPad Mini event just three days before the software giant unveils Windows 8 and its new Surface tablet.

Of course the big question is, will the iPad Mini be able to not only directly compete with Amazon (AMZN)’s Kindle Fire HD tablet and Google (GOOG)’s Nexus 7 — both devices have 7-inch screens and sell for $199 — but also gain market share of the smaller tablet space from both companies – a question that only time will tell.

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