A few days ago we showed you a report that suggested Apple would announce the 7.85-inch iPad mini during a special event scheduled for October 23. Now the event is finally confirmed, as Apple has issued press invites for that exact date.

According to the invitation, the announcement has something to do with a smaller product of some sort – “We’ve got a little more to show you.” – a clear hint at the iPad mini.

The event will take place at the California Theatre in San Jose and not at Apple’s campus, as it was previously hinted. Reuters reports:

The California Theatre is not one of Apple’s go-to venues for product launches but the company has used the location before, including in 2004 to unveil the Special Edition U2 iPod, along with a performance by the rock band U2.

Recent iPad mini rumors and reports have suggested that Apple’s new tablet could be priced between $249 and $649, depending on capacity and connectivity options. According to those rumors, the new iPad models would be available in black and white, and they’d offer either Wi-Fi-only connectivity or Cellular + Wi-Fi support. Moreover, the cheapest iPad mini would offer 8GB of storage (Wi-Fi version) while the most expensive one would come with 64GB of onboard memory (Cellular + Wi-Fi model).

Why is the iPad mini important for the Android ecosystem? For the same reason the Microsoft Surface and all the upcoming Windows 8 / Windows RT tablets are important for the same universe: increased competition.

These are major competitors that could affect to some degree Android tablet sales for the remainder of the year. And considering that the iPad mini and Windows tablets are going to be unveiled during the busy Christmas shopping seasons and that they’re going to compete against each other but also directly attack budget and high-end Android tablets, we’re definitely going to keep an eye on them and their sales performance in the following weeks and months.

Have you figured out what your next tablet purchase is going to be? Are you selecting a specific brand / OS this Christmas?