- Apple sent invites to members of the press Tuesday for an October 23 event
- The event next week is widely expected to be the launch of a smaller iPad
One of the worst-kept secrets in tech has been confirmed: Apple will hold an event October 23 in San Jose, California, at which the company is widely expected to unveil a smaller, cheaper version of its popular iPad.
Apple sent e-mails to members of the press Tuesday that read simply, "We've got a little more to show you. Please join us for an invitation-only event at the California Theatre in San Jose on October 23 at 10:00 a.m."
Unlike last month's invite to the unveiling of the iPhone 5, which contained a not-so-subtle "5" in its graphic, Tuesday's colorful rainbow design offered few hints about what Apple might announce, although the word "little" could be a clue.
Numerous news reports suggest the secretive company will introduce a 7- or 8-inch version of its popular tablet, which currently has a nearly 10-inch screen when measured diagonally.
Apple has not confirmed any of these reports, of course. Nor have they revealed what such a mythical device may be called, which hasn't stopped the tech media from labeling it the "iPad Mini."
Other details about the rumored tablet remain vague, although some analysts predict it will not have the high-definition "retina display" that's on the current iPad. Most observers believe it will be priced under $300.
A smaller iPad would allow Apple to compete head-to-head with rival small tablets, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7, that have weakened Apple's domination of the tablet market.
Those devices are priced in the $200 range, while Apple's current iPad lineup starts at $399 for last year's iPad 2 and $499 for the third-generation iPad released in March.
Tuesday's Apple invite came the same day prices were revealed for Microsoft's upcoming line of Surface tablets, which will start at $499 and hit stores October 26.