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Apple iPad Mini expected for October launch

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Apple is expected to unveil a new, smaller version of its iPad tablet in October, rather than announce the device alongside the next generation of the iPhone.

It is widely expected that Apple will announce the new iPhone on September 12, with the product potentially going on sale on September 21.

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Journalists getting to grips with the new iPad

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AllThingsDigital reported at the weekend that sources say the so-called iPad Mini will be "uncrated at a second special event" scheduled for October.

"Only after the next-generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it's been working on," the site said.

Backing up previous reports, the sources said that the iPad Mini is expected to have a display of less than eight inches (20 centimetres).

This would make it a direct competitor for the growing number of small-screen tablets, including Amazon's Kinde Fire, the Google Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Tab products from Samsung.

There was previously suggestion that Apple would announce both the new iPhone and iPad Mini at the same event, but that is now thought to be unlikely.

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Daring Fireball's John Gruber recently said that the importance of the iPhone to Apple means the firm would be keen not to take away the spotlight from the smartphone.

"I don't think Apple would want reviews of both a new iPhone and new-size iPad appearing at the same time," Gruber wrote last week.

"Why share the spotlight? Why have another Apple product battling with the iPhone for the top spots in news coverage?"

He added: "The more I think about it, the less sense it makes for the iPhone to even share the stage at the announcement with any other product.

"The iPhone is too big, too cool, and garners too much attention - and it's in Apple's interest to keep that attention undiluted."

AllThingsD now claims that Apple will indeed announce the new iPhone in September, followed by the iPad Mini in October, ensuring it has both products on sale in time for the key Christmas shopping season.

According to reports, the iPad Mini will look similar to a large iPod Touch, with smaller side bezels than the 9.7-inch original iPad to make it easier to use.

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