iPad mini release date set for early November, following mid-October announcement?

October 1, 2012
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In addition to the rumored Nexus-branded device(s) expected to hit stores this holiday season we have one more important mobile device that’s said to start selling this fall. Naturally, I’m talking about Apple’s unannounced iPad mini, a late arrival at the budget-friendly tablet business, but nevertheless an important player for that niche.

Whether you like it or not, the iPad mini will sell like hot cakes, just like its 9.7-inch brethren, and bring some serious competition to a niche where the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire versions are kings.

Just as rumored before the iPhone 5 event, Apple did not announce the smaller tablet during its September presser, intentionally delaying the introduction of a new best-selling device.

Now, word on the street via Fortune is that Apple will issue press event invitation for the iPad mini announcement this month. In fact, a sourse says that the press “can expect invitations to go out on October 10:

If the rumor is true, and if Apple follows its usual scheduling protocol, that would suggest a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2 — plenty of time to capture holiday sales.

These details are yet to be confirmed by the company, but we’ll certainly know more in the months to come. However, a November 2 launch would give Apple plenty of time to sell a boatload of iPad minis during the Black Friday and Christmas shopping sprees.

Japanese blog Macotakara, which has been a rather reliable source of Apple-related intel in the past, says that the new iPad is already in production in Brazil and that it doesn’t have any confirmation that production is also underway in China:

According to my source, iPad mini was started production in Brazilian factory. I don’t have information if it has been produced in Chinese factory, yet.

We’ll be back with more iPad mini details in the future, mainly because it will be an important addition to the tablet ecosystem and a device Google and every other Android tablet maker should pay attention to in the coming months.

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