Apple targeting October 2012 release for iPad Mini?

A new rumor suggests Apple is targeting an October 2012 release for their rumored iPad Mini tablet.

We've been hearing rumors of a new, smaller iPad for quite some while now, but it appears as if Apple is finally going ahead with plans to release it.

Much of the report, coming from iMore, suggests a lot of what we've already heard, but this is the first time we're hearing an exact month.  Earlier rumors have all pointed towards a late 2012 release, likely in the Fall.

In April we heard Apple was planning to produce 6 million "smaller" iPads featuring a 7.86-inch screen, as opposed to the current iPad which has a 9.7-inch screen.  That report, however, suggested the iPad mini will cost anywhere from $249 to $299.

The latest rumor from iMore, however, disagrees with that and says the new iPad will will be priced somewhere between $200 to $250.  Though the site argues that it's "hard to imagine" an iPad with a price tag that low, they reason that Apple could help keep costs lower by providing less storage capacity, say 8GB.  They note the current iPod touch also starts at $200 for 8GB – so it could be possible.

Although Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, was famously dismissive of 7-inch tablets, calling them dead-on-arrival, recent competition from more-affordable, but smaller tablets like the Kindle Fire could be forcing Apple's hand in joining the slightly smaller tablet market.