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Apple event on Oct. 23 likely to star mini iPad


As expected, Apple will hold a press event on Oct. 23. "We've got a little more to show you," the Cupertino-based company's press invitation declares, hinting that the rumored "iPad Mini" may be unveiled.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in San Jose, Calif., and we will naturally report all the details live.

Odds are high that Apple's presentation will indeed focus on a smaller iPad — which has been dubbed the iPad Mini. While we knew a great deal about the iPhone 5 before it was officially announced, very few of the rumors surrounding the iPad Mini seem solid. We anticipate that the device will have a 7.85-inch display which will not be a high-resolution "Retina" display like the one found in the iPhone 5 or third-generation iPad. It's basically a given that the new tablet will use a Lightning connector, just like the iPhone 5 and the latest iPods, rather than the older 30-pin connector design found on current iPad models. Additionally, it has been suggested that the smaller iPad will look a lot like a large iPod Touch, with a somewhat smaller bezel.

We'll have to wait until next Tuesday to see how these guesses and rumors work out though. Until then, we'll just have to keep daydreaming and speculating — particularly about the new tablet's price. As NBC News tech/sci editor Wilson Rothman pointed out during a discussion of Apple rumors, odds are high that the iPad Mini will be priced at $299. But at that point, there wouldn't be many gasps from the audience. Now a $249 price tag on the other hand, that'd be a whole 'nother story.

After all, the new iPod Touch has a starting price of $299, a significant sum for a pocket-sized media player, even though it has a gorgeous aluminum body, a Retina display, and some pretty solid guts.

"Now, think of this mini iPad, or iPad Mini, or whatever," Rothman suggests. "Take the basic guts of the iPod Touch, shave the 32GB of storage down to 16GB, and put in a lower-resolution 7.9-inch display instead of a gorgeous 4-inch Retina display, while you're at it."

Perhaps these changes could bring production costs down far enough for Apple to charge $249 rather than $299 for the new iPad. 

"I think that $249 is the 'all other tablets are dead' price, and $299 is the 'Apple keeps its market share while making a comfortable profit' price. Anywhere over $300 is a "not good" price," Rothman concludes. "Not in today's market, not with a full-sized iPad 2 selling for $400 and a Retina-display iPad selling for $500."

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