Apple iPad Mini rumours suggest November release for new tablet

Sources claim consumer electronics giant will launch smaller tablet later this month.

iPad

Apple is planning to expand its all-conquering iPad family by launching a 7-inch tablet later this month, according to sources cited by one of the firm's major investors.

In a report on business news site Forbes, the consumer electronics giant is said to be planning to send out invites to the launch for the rumoured iPad Mini on 10 October, with its grand unveiling expected to take place on 17 October.

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The site claims the information has been passed to it by a "major Apple investor" who has had it confirmed by multiple sources.

It then goes on to speculate that, based on Apple's past history of announcing launch events, that the device is likely to go on sale in early November, just in time for the Christmas rush.

Not everyone can afford a basic iPad, and its total addressable market is limited.

The Apple rumour mill has been churning out speculation about the iPad Mini for several months, with reports predicting the device will sport a 7.85-inch display and a 1,024 x 768 screen resolution.

This is the second time an October launch date has been talked about for the device, although some industry watchers expected the firm to unveil the iPad Mini at the same time as the iPhone 5 last month.

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If the Forbes report turns out to be true, a smaller version of the Apple iPad is likely to pitted against the raft of 7-inch tablets that have recently hit the market, including the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

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Stephen Rosenman, financial analyst at stock market tracking website Seeking Alpha, said a smaller, less expensive Apple device would fly off the shelves.

In a post on Seeking Alpha, he said: "The basic iPad sells for a pricey $499 - not everyone can afford one. As a result, its total addressable market is limited.

"During its last first quarter, Apple sold 15 million iPads. With a Mini, Cupertino could triple that number this quarter," he added.

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