Technology researcher Sonny Dickson posted a range of images on Twitter appearing to show the so-called 'iPad Mini' alongside a full-size iPad.
Whilst there is no way to verify the images, some of them show the smaller iPad with the same 'Lightning' dock connector that was only introduced with the iPhone 5 last month.
Apple is expected to issue invites tomorrow for a launch event on October 17, when the tech giant could announce its move into small screen tablets.
The iPad Mini is thought likely to have a 7.85-inch screen, compared with 9.7-inches in the main iPad.
The device would compete with a raft of already available smaller tablets that have proved hugely popular with consumers, including Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire.
> Apple iPad mini: Rumours roundup
Earlier in the month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had started mass production of the iPad Mini ahead of the consumer launch.
The newspaper has now said that Apple could be expecting massive demand for the tablet as its supply chain is said to have received orders for more than 10m units in the fourth quarter alone.
Sources said that the 10m figure is around double the orders placed by Amazon for its Kindle Fire product, which will launch internationally in the fourth quarter.
Analysts feel that Apple will price the smaller tablet attractively in order to compete with rival products, as the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 both cost just £159 for the entry-level models.
"iPad mini will be a big hit if Apple prices it below $300 (£187)," RBS analyst Wanli Wang told the journal.