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Smaller iPad expected Tuesday, but at what price?

Monday, October 22, 2012 | 3:48 PM    

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NEW YORK, USA  (AP) — Those who follow Apple believe they have figured out most of the particulars of a smaller iPad, expected to be revealed Tuesday. One big question remains, though: What will it cost?

Apple hasn't said anything about the device, but the veil of secrecy it throws over unreleased products has been a see-through affair this year. Most of the details of the iPhone 5 were known well in advance of its launch a month ago.

In the case of the "iPad Mini" (the real name is not known), tech bloggers and analysts expect a device with a screen measuring 7.85 inches on the diagonal, making it about half the size of the regular iPad. It would be slightly larger than the seven-inch tablets it's presumably designed to compete with, including Amazon.com's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7.

The Kindle Fire starts at US$159, and the Nexus 7 at US$199. Meanwhile, Apple sells the iPad 2 for US$399 and the four-inch iPod Touch for US$199.

Company watchers are pegging the price of the smaller iPad somewhere in between.

Most of the guesses range from US$249 to US$299, but the blog Boy Genius Report said Monday that the price would be US$329.

That would make the iPad Mini twice the price of the cheapest Kindle Fire and leave plenty of room for other manufacturers to snap up value shoppers this holiday season. Boy Genius did not disclose its source and has had a mixed record in predicting details on unreleased Apple products.

Apple is holding the presentation at a theatre in San Jose, California, starting at 10:00 am local time.

Apple has sold 84 million iPads since their debut in April 2010.

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