(By Balachander) Apple Inc.
) is likely to unwrap its "iPad mini" at a special event on October 23, according to AllThingsD.
Rumors about the smaller version of the iPad have gained intensity in recent weeks with the launch of Apple's iPhone 5 last month.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has started building a smaller iPad with a 7.85-inch LCD display with a possible launch this quarter.
"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," according to a report from Fortune last week.
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Once launched, the so-called iPad mini will mark Apple's second high-profile product unveiling in recent months.
"People familiar with Apple's plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called 'iPad mini' on October 23 at an invitation-only event," AllThingsD reported.
Another report last week from the WSJ, citing sources, said some of Apple's Asian component suppliers have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets for the fourth quarter. These suppliers were quoted as saying the orders received were twice the number that were placed for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter,
Wall Street analysts expect strong demand for the Apple's new device, pointing to the popularity of Samsung's 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7.
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The world's most valuable technology company unveiled the iPhone 5, the thinnest and lightest smartphone ever, as well as one of the most keenly awaited technology products of 2012.
Apple sold more than 5 million devices in the first three days following its Sept. 21 launch.
Meanwhile, Apple has officially signed a license agreement with Swiss Federal Railways for the use of the SBB station clock on devices like iPad and iPhone.