iPad Mini release date: Apple (APPL) countdown is on for the most anticipated gadget of the season

The countdown is on to the release of the most anticipated gadget of the 2012 holiday season.

Bloomberg News, Reuters and a number of Mac blogs are now reporting that Apple will unveil the iPad Mini to the world during an event next Tuesday, Oct. 23.

The reports also say the price is expected to start at $249, for a Wi-Fi only 8-GB model, making it a strong competitor to Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook Color, and other Android tablets.


Expected to be a huge seller

Like the iPad before it, the iPad Mini is expected to be a huge seller for Apple.  Leaked photos show it with a 7-inch diagonal screen, 2 inches less than the iPad, and making it easier to carry in a coat pocket or purse.

However, to keep the price down, these reports say it will not have Apple's new retina display, but will have the cheaper screen resolution of the first iPads.

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