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Press invites are expected to arrive on Oct. 10, according to Fortune's Apple 2.0 website. This is, however, a rumor atop other rumors, as Apple 2.0 reports its information comes from a "major Apple investor who says he's heard it from 'multiple sources.'"
The iPad Mini (sometimes called the iPad Air) is expected to boast a 7.85-inch screen (there's debate about whether it will feature Retina display), putting it in a category with devices like the new 7-inch, $199 Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7. The regular iPad's screen is 9.7 inches diagonally.
If Apple follows its typical press invite/announcement/shipping routine, expect the new tablet to become available on Nov. 2. Speculation is that the device will cost about $200.
The announcement, if it in fact goes according to this plan, would follow by about a month Apple's iPhone 5 introduction.