“Apple Inc will host an event on October 23 where it is expected to unveil a smaller iPad that will take on the less expensive devices offered by Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday,” Poornima Gupta reports for Reuters. “The source did not specify what the product would be and an Apple spokesman declined to comment, but tech blog AllThingsD reported earlier on Friday that Apple would launch the mini iPad at the event. The device is expected by many experts to have a screen between 7 and 8 inches.”

MacDailyNews Note: 7.85-inches (diagonal).

“One Wall Street analyst said he had seen the smaller tablet, dubbed iPad mini by the media, while visiting component suppliers in Asia. ‘We actually had the opportunity to play with a pilot iPad Mini used by one of the vendors,’ Topeka Capital analyst Brian White said,” Gupta reports. “‘This 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove and we were easily able to tuck the device in our sport coat, offering consumers a more mobile iPad experience for certain use cases.’”

Gupta reports, “Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter financial results are scheduled to be released on October 25, two days after the event, offering analysts a rare opportunity to grill executives about a new product just after details are made public. A smaller iPad could be a risk to Apple’s industry-leading margins, given that neither Amazon nor Google has been known to make much money from the smaller tablets… Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said that, if Apple prices the smaller tablet between $299 to $349, it could maintain the current margins. If the tablet is priced below $299, Apple could still maintain a decent margin if it offers 8 GB of storage instead of the minimum 16 GB storage it has in the current iPad, Wu added.”

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