With the launch of the iPhone 5 and subsequent furor regarding iOS 6, the murmurs regarding the iPad Mini have died down somewhat over the past couple of weeks. However, CNN Fortune has learned through a “major Apple investor” that the Cupertino, California-based company will be releasing invitations for the special iPad Mini event on October 10th. This not only indicates the launch will likely be toward the latter stages of the month, but also infers shipping will begin early November, as opposed to this month, as some had previously speculated.

Apple has dominated the tablet market single-handedly over the past two-and-a-half years, but with a spate of news smaller, cheaper tablets emerging within the market, Tim Cook’s company has felt it necessary to cover all areas and eventualities. The 7.85-inch slate is said to represent the iPod touch in terms of look and feel – including a thinner bezel along the vertical edges – although aside from display size and general form factor snippets, little is actually known with regards to specifications of the device.

Fortune’s source, who, unsurprisingly, did not want to be named, believes there’s some substance to the continual rumors regarding the unofficially-dubbed iPad Mini, and the report notes "the press, he [the source] says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10."

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt, who wrote the piece, has links with Apple analysts and traders, so it’s not as if the news has been plucked from thin air. If the invites to the event are indeed scheduled to drop on the 10th, one could speculate the iPad Mini launch as arriving seven days later, on 17th. Normally, the device would then arrive 1-2 weeks later, but due to Apple’s preoccupation with shipping the iPhone 5, it may just be that the smaller slab won’t shop until the first week of November.

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As fans of gadgetry, we’re looking most forward to seeing it in all its glory, as well as skimming through the specs, and with the presumed price point said to be around $299, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of hardware Apple manages to squeeze in. It’s said to have both front and rear-facing cameras, and I would assume the latter to be the same 5-megapixel iSight we saw with the 3rd-gen iPad.

Processor, GPU, resolution, and such are all up in the air, but we’ll of course let you know of any additional details as they arrive here at Redmond Pie!

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