Last week, rumors held that Apple would be sending out invitations to the iPad Mini announcement event on October 10. That date has come and passed with no word from Apple. So, the Apple rumor mill has kicked into action once again, blaming the delay on production issues and searching for another plausible announcement date for the device.
Today, All Things D reported that the iPad Mini will be announced at an October 23 event. This would put a launch of the tablet close to Halloween or in early November. Whatever the case, it's likely that the device will be out before that all-important U.S. shopping day - black Friday.
All Things D also notes that October 23 is just days before the October 26 release of Microsoft's Surface hybrid tablet. It only makes sense that Apple would want to steal the thunder from its historical rival, which is beginning to adopt the Apple model with regards to creating hardware for its platforms.
Though a TechBargains survey showed this week that the iPad Mini isn't highly desired by consumers, Apple is sure to sell millions of the devices, especially if it is able to price the tablet at a price that is competitive to Amazon's Kindle Fire lineup or Google's Nexus 7. Even if it does, rumors hold that Google is ready to unveil a new version of the Nexus 7 at the magic price point of $99.
It's shaping up to be an interesting, competitive fall for the tablet manufacturers, and one that could shape the future of the tablet market for years to come.