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Apple ‘set to reveal iPad mini’

Apple is set to reveal a smaller, cheaper version of the iPad at an event next week, it was reported last night.

It sent out invites for an event at the California Theatre in San Jose on October 23 with the message “We’ve got a little more to show you”.

Speculation was rife that it would be for the launch of the rumoured iPad mini. Apple has not said anything about a smaller tablet, a concept company founder Steve Jobs derided two years ago, but company-watchers have assumed for months that an “iPad mini” will appear before the Christmas season.

The screen is reportedly about half the size of the iPad’s, which measures 9.7 inches diagonally. Analysts speculate the starting price of the device could be about $299 (£186).

With the device, Apple could close an opening in the tablet market for rivals like Amazon, whose Kindle Fire is half the size of the iPad and starts at $199 (£123). Google and Barnes and Noble also sell tablets in the same size and price range.

Apple’s event would occur three days before Microsoft releases Windows 8, the new version of its operating system. Microsoft will be releasing its Surface tablets with the software.