Apple Could Announce iPad Mini on Oct. 23

Smaller Screen Tablet to Compete Against Amazon’s Kindle, Other Less Expensive Options

While Apple is--as usual--keeping quiet about its plans for the event, dozens of sites have reported in recent weeks that the company will announce a new smaller screen tablet, which has been dubbed the iPad mini, next week.

Apple has sent out invitations for a product announcement event on October 23 at 10 a.m. (PT)

Multiple reports from sites like TechCrunch and Business Insider have indicated that the iPad Mini could have a 7.85-inch display and go on sale in November. Pricing could range from $199 to $399, according the TechCrunch.

The new tablet would allow Apple to compete directly with other smaller less costly tablets, such as Amazon’s Kindle, that up until now were attractive to consumers unwilling to pay the $529.99 to $709.99 for the newest iPads.

If Apple does launch a less expensive tablet in the run-up to the holiday season that could also significantly boost the penetration of tablets, making them an even more important outlet for movies and TV programming. Prior to the announcement Magna Global had been predicting that there would be nearly 69 million tablets in U.S. homes by the end of 2013.