Apple Sends Out iPad Mini Media Event Invitations For October 23 At 10 AM PT

Apple finally seems to be ready to show off a new iPad mini to the world, according to invites it sent out to members of the media today. The invitations are likely for the unveiling of a smaller tablet device, set for announcement on October 23 in San Jose at the California Theater at a 10 AM PT event.

The iPad mini is rumored to have a number of different characteristics, including an aluminum design with two color options like the latest iPhone 5, cellular network connectivity, a display that may not provide true Retina resolution in order to keep costs down, and an estimated delivery date of late October or early November. There are also rumors that Apple will introduce a slightly refreshed full-sized iPad at this event, with a Lightning dock connector and slightly improved specs. Price will be the big wildcard here, for the iPad mini especially: estimates range from as low as $249 to around $399 as a starting price for the new tablet.

Earlier today, we also saw rumors that could indicate a variety of model options for the iPad mini, including different wireless connectivity options or display specs. If Apple does go in for a large number of configuration options, this could be one of the most significant divergences from its existing product launch strategies to date.

Here’s about all we do really know about the iPad mini: It’s smaller (probably around 7.85-inches) – and that’s about it. Apple will go into detail about screen resolution, how it will work for developers, battery life and camera capabilities next week, so stay tuned as we bring you the news live. And look out for news about refreshed Macs, too, including possibly a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and a refreshed iMac design.