Apple has spoken by way of invitation.
The company has just sent out notices inviting media to an event at the California Theatre in San Jose on Tuesday, Oct. 23. It is expected to announce a long-rumored smaller iPad or "iPad Mini" at the gathering.
The invitation says, "We've got a little more to show you." Of course, "little" is the keyword. No other information is offered, other than driving directions.
There has been buzz about a smaller iPad in tech circles for a year now. Recent rumors and leaked images suggest a tablet with a 7.85-inch screen (the current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen), the same Lightning dock connector as the one in the new iPhone 5, and 3G / 4G cellular connectivity. Check out a guide to some of the rumors here.
The so-called iPad Mini is also expected to run iOS 6.0, the newest operating system from Apple, which runs on the new iPhone. The tablet is likely to be focused on content consumption -- reading, watching videos, surfing the Web, and so forth. "I found email, books, Facebook, and video very compelling on a 7-inch. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable," Apple executive Eddy Cue said in an internal to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The email was made public in trial documents submitted in the Apple v. Samsung patent dispute.
Last month Amazon released its new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which starts at $199. Similarly, Google and Asus launched the Nexus 7 in June for $199. Barnes & Noble released the Nook HD two weeks ago, which — you guessed it — starts at $199. There have been no reports on the pricing of the iPad Mini, but it will likely be around the same price range.
Apple has also set the event just three days before Microsoft's Windows 8 and Surface tablet are to be released. Windows 8 is Microsoft's first real competitor to Apple's tablet dominance in the market. Apple is also rumored to announce some new computers at the event, including a MacBook Pro with a 13-inch Retina Display.
ABC News will be at the event in San Jose, which will be held at the California Theatre and starts at 10:00 a.m. PT. Stay tuned for all our coverage live from the ground.