Apple will finally unveil a 7.85-inch iPad on October 23rd at an invitation-only event, according to sources for AllThingsD
. The claim comes after rumored press invitations
failed to materialize on October 10th. Had they been delivered then, the expectation was that the event would happen October 17th, with a product launch taking place by early November.
The 23rd is a Tuesday, differing from Apple's recent preference for Wednesday events. Why the company would switch things up is unknown, but ATD notes
that the 23rd is just three days before Microsoft's Surface tablet is set to ship. Apple could be hoping to steal some of the thunder from Microsoft's entry into first-party media tablets.
Regarding the new iPad's features, ATD
's sources will only repeat commonly-asserted points of a 7.85-inch display and a Lightning dock connector. Size and cost are generally anticipated to be the tablet's main features, more a way for Apple to compete with tablets like the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 than to bring any dramatic innovations.