Apple iPad Mini set for October launch

Report hints at October launch for newest addition to the Apple family.

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Apple will launch a smaller version of its successful iPad in October, according to a report from All Things Digital.

The tablet, dubbed the iPad Mini, is expected to be launched separately to the new iPhone 5, which is slated for arrival in September. The publication cited several sources confirming the information.

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The iPad Mini will be pitted against rivals Google Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire, and is expected to boast a sub-eight inch screen size.

Having two launch events before November will be important to Apple as it gears up for the holiday season.

Meanwhile, Japanese technology website Macotakara claimed it had also confirmed, from other sources, the name and that the tablet would be launched separately from the iPhone 5.

The Japanese report cited a "mysterious hole" next to the iSight camera, which could be used to fit an NFC module.

According to Apple technology blogger, John Gruber, it would make more sense to have both devices unveiled at different times as the company would not want to divert attention away from an iPhone 5 release.

"The iPhone is too big, too cool, and garners too much attention and it's in Apple's interest to keep that attention undiluted," said Gruber.

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The dual announcements could also take the wind out of the sails of Microsoft and Nokia, who are preparing to launch Windows Phone 8 and a raft of smartphones in early September.

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