NEW YORK - Apple sent out invitations Tuesday for an event in exactly one week's time where the company is widely expected to unveil a new "iPad Mini," a smaller version of its market-leading tablet computer.
Several news organizations received the invitations for the October 23 event taking place in San Jose, California.
Reports have been swirling for months about the smaller version of the market-leading iPad, but Apple has made no comment.
Some blogs which closely monitor Apple say the new tablet could be priced from $249 to $399, which could pressure rivals such as the Amazon Kindle Fire.
The announcement comes three days prior to the release of Microsoft's new Surface tablet and two days before Apple reports quarterly earnings.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple has begun production of 10 million of the new iPads.
Various reports have cited the specifications of the new tablet and some pictures have also leaked. It is expected to have a screen of 7.85 inches (20 centimeters) compared with 9.7 inches for the current iPad.
The 10-inch iPad has long dominated the tablet market, but faces a growing challenge from smaller models such as Amazon's Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy.