Right as the Microsoft Surface tablet went on sale for pre-order, Apple sent out invites to it's next press event, where it will reveal the 7.85-inch iPad mini to the world. It's also heavily rumored that a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display will also be a part of the festivities, as well as an updated Mac mini, and maybe even new iMacs (finally!) As always, we'll have live coverage of everything that goes down, so keep it locked right here on Tuesday at 10:00am PT, where Apple will show off its new hotness from the California Theatre in San Jose.
A smaller iPad has been rumored to be arriving for over a year now, aimed to compete with 7-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire. Now, on the heels of the announcement of the Nexus 7 and Surface tablets, both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that sources are indicating that Apple is set to start production on a 7.8-inch iPad with the goal of launching it this October. Unlike the 2012 iPad model, this smaller slate won't be sporting a Retina display as Apple will instead opt for a 1024 x 768 panel to keep costs down. We know, it's another iPad rumor. The difference here, though, is that when you see major outlets like WSJ and Bloomberg reporting it, it's with great confidence. October should also see the debut of the next-generation iPhone as well.
Our friends at iLounge got a few new tidbits relating to the iPad 2, which are interesting to say the least, but should be taken with a grain of salt. First, Apple has been toying with the idea of using carbon fiber for the casing of the next iPad. Carbon fiber is strong, but also very lightweight, and this would be a move to make the iPad much lighter than the original (which was a complaint from many.) Second, Apple is considering throwing NFC technology into the iPad 2. We think this one is pretty much a lock, as it will allow Apple to tap into a huge revenue stream. Last, Apple is reportedly still tossing around the idea of a 7-inch version of the iPad. Steve Jobs recently trashed this idea, saying that all the 7-inch tablets out there were pretty much dead on arrival because they were too small. We don't buy that, because, well, look at the iPod touch. It's pretty much a 3.5-inch tablet. Still, we aren't gonna hold out hope for a 7-inch iPad to roll around this April.
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