Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) sent out invitations for what it’s calling a “special event” on Oct. 23 in San Jose, California.
Apple, the world’s most valuable company, plans to unveil a smaller version of its iPad tablet at the event, a person with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month. The event will be held at 10 a.m. local time at the California Theater.
“We’ve got a little more to show you,” Cupertino, California-based Apple said in the invitation, sent via e-mail today.
Apple is introducing the smaller iPad as rivals such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US) and Google Inc. (GOOG:US) try to wrest away a piece of the tablet market, which is projected by NPD DisplaySearch to more than double to $162 billion by 2017. Apple controls about 70 percent of the market. The new model will be Apple’s first expansion of the iPad product line since the device was introduced by co-founder Steve Jobs in 2010.
The company is unveiling a smaller iPad with a 7.85-inch screen diagonally, people familiar with its development said in August. The current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen. Apple will probably price the smaller iPad at $299 or $349, said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc.
Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, today said its new Surface tablet, which goes on sale Oct. 26, will be priced starting at $499. Amazon and Google also have announced new tablets in recent months.
Tablet sales are predicted to exceed those of personal computers by 2015, according to research firm Yankee Group.
Last month, Apple released the iPhone 5. The company sold 5 million of the smartphones during its debut weekend, though sales have been held back by supply constraints.
Apple rose 2.4 percent to $649.79 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 60 percent this year.
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