Multiple unnamed sources claim that Apple's special event taking place next week will focus on the (currently rumored) iPad Mini as an e-book reader, clearly taking a shot at Amazon's Kindle line.
Apple is reportedly looking to offer its new gadget in the same price range as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 tablets, addressing an audience that doesn't find its larger iPad 3 offering financially attractive. The lower price point is expected to generate even more revenue for the fruity company as a fresh new audience scoops up iOS apps, various media and bestsellers from its iBookstore.
To keep the overall cost of the gadget down to a minimum, sources previously said Apple will use a non-Retina display and only offer Wi-Fi connectivity in addition to using other low-cost components. Still, Apple reportedly didn't "skimp on the aesthetics" of the smaller iPad tablet, outshining the iPad 3 "in terms of how the device feels in a consumer's hands."
Last month, one iPad developer claimed that the new tablet may be a spinoff of the revamped iPad 2. "iPad2,4 is the 32-nm die-shrunk update that quietly replaced the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 when the iPad 3 was released, yielding better battery life and lower cost, and probably partly responsible for the iPad 2’s price drop to $399," the developer wrote. "As far as I know, this was the first time Apple invested in a die shrink mid-cycle for any of the iOS devices."
He then went on to speculate that the iPad2,5 and iPad 2,6 references found in his app's device stats likely refers to Wi-Fi and GSM versions of the iPad Mini. There's a good chance Apple will reveal both versions next week so that customers can access iTunes on their new gadget wherever they are.
As previously reported, the iPad Mini event will supposedly take place on October 23, three days before Microsoft launches Windows 8 and its own Surface tablets. Barnes & Noble has already showed its new tablet hand, now taking pre-orders for the 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+ scheduled to ship in November. The company even revealed a new multi-platform video service, seemingly taking on Google, Amazon and Apple all in one swift stroke.
Rumors surfaced over the summer that Apple might push the 7-inch iPad Mini as an e-reader, or rather, as an iBook Reader. The company is facing fierce competition from rival Amazon which offers not only Kindle devices, but Kindle apps across numerous platforms. Apple may sense the need for a smaller form factor so that book readers can easily carry an electronic iOS-based reader in their pocket, purse and more. And by offering a smaller iPad, Apple stands a good chance to boost sales in the iBookstore.