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Apple Likely to Unveil “iPad Mini” at October 23 Event

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the date on which Apple was rumored to be distributing invitations to a second fall product event, passed without a word from the iconic tech company’s Cupertino, Calif., HQ. The silence from Apple left some to wonder if it still plans to debut a smaller iPad this fall; others speculated that production delays may have forced it to postpone the device’s unveiling until later in the year.

Neither is the case.

As AllThingsD reported in August, Apple will hold a special event this month, at which it will showcase a new, smaller iPad. People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called “iPad mini” on Oct. 23 at an invitation-only event.

That’s a Tuesday, not a Wednesday, so this is a bit of a break with recent tradition. It also happens to be just three days prior to the street date for Microsoft’s new Surface tablet and two days before Apple reports earnings for its latest quarter.

Sources declined to specify where the event is to be held, and I’ve not been able to confirm a location.

But it’s likely to be at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium. The company has debuted a number of important products there in the past — OS X Lion, a next-generation MacBook Air and the iPhone 4S — so there’s plenty of precedent.

More importantly, Apple’s already held its big fall event — the unveiling of the iPhone 5 and the 2012 iPod line. The company pulled out all the stops for that one, holding it at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and recruiting Foo Fighters to close the show. It’s hard to imagine it mounting a second production of that caliber in such a short time. More likely that the iPad mini’s debut will be an intimate affair held close to home.

And beyond that? Well, details are slim. S

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