Reuters is now reporting that Apple will likely unveil the so-called iPad mini next week.
Sources tell Reuters that the iPad mini will make its public debut on October 23.
Wall Street analysts have predicted for months that Apple was planning a smaller, less costly version of its popular iPad to take on cheaper competing devices, a move that analysts say might hurt its margins, but prevent its rivals from dominating an increasingly important computing segment.
Topeka Capital analyst Brian White claims to have already secretly viewed device during a trip to Asia.
“We actually had the opportunity to play with a pilot iPad Mini used by one of the vendors,” White says. “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.”
Analyst Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets estimates that Apple will sell 30 million iPads if the company also releases the iPad mini in time for the holidays.
Even without the iPad mini, Apple is still in a strong position to sell north of 21 million iPads during the final quarter of 2012.