Apple’s iPad mini to be launched this year

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Apple is all geared to release a smaller iPad just in time for this year’s holiday season and after, competitors Microsoft and Google unveiled their new tablet offerings.

Measuring between seven and eight inches, the screen of the latest iPad is significantly smaller than the previous three versions’ 9.7 inches. However, the retina display introduced in the recent iPad launched in March would not be featured in the new iPad.

Bloomberg reports that the new device is expected to be officially announced as early as October.

Although we have heard of speculations regarding the release of a mini version of the iPad, the rumours only intensified a month after Google and Microsoft touted upcoming devices that are aimed to seize a significant part of the growing tablet market.

Without providing any detail regarding its launch date and price, Microsoft showed off its Surface tablet – which features a slick keyboard case – at a highly hyped and secretive event in mid-June.

Meanwhile, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet was introduced at its annual developer’s conferences last week. It will operate on Jelly Bean, which is the newest version the Android operating system.

An analyst, however, noted that the release of the smaller iPad would be a slap in the face for Microsoft and Google as well as to Amazon, which offered a cheaper iPad alternative with its Kindle Fire.

“It would be the competitors’ worst nightmare,” said Shaw Wu, Analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc.

“The ball is in Apple’s court,” he added.

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