Apple’s teaser invite says ‘We’ve got a little more to show you’ as tablet competition hots up from Microsoft Surface
Apple has sent out invitations for an event at the California Theatre in San Jose on 23 October, with the tagline “We’ve got a little more to show you” – prompting intense speculation that it will unveil an “iPad mini”, a 7.85in version of its iPad.
The invitations, which had been widely expected – because Apple usually sends them out a week ahead of an event, and the AllThingsD news site had previously pinpointed 23 October – use the same palette effect as in the original iPad invitation from January 2010.
The invitations were sent only hours after Microsoft announced prices for its Surface tablet, which will start at the same price as the existing iPad, but offer 32GB of storage rather than 16GB. The largest model will offer 64GB. However, there are no 3G-capable versions of the Surface, unlike the iPad.
Rumours have been growing in intensity through the year that Apple will release a smaller version of the iPad. Leaks from its supply chain have pointed to the possibility of a device, while analysts, bloggers and developers have speculated that it could release a device with a 7.85in screen – which would have half the area of that 9.7in full-size device – by offering a screen resolution of 1024 x 768, half that of the current generation of iPad.
That would mean developers wouldn’t have to rewrite apps to size correctly on the tablet.
However that would also leave questions about the screen resolution of such a device – which would then be lower than the new 7in Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7, made by Asus.
Testimony released in Apple’s trial with Samsung earlier this year also showed that Apple executives had previously discussed building a smaller version of the iPad.
However the launch in September of the iPhone 5, which has a longer screen, could mean that Apple has some other form factor in mind for a smaller tablet.
Speculation has also been growing that Apple will show off new versions of its Macbook laptop line with a smaller 13in screen using its “retina” high-resolution display, and a refreshed version of its iPad
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