By Poornima Gupta
SAN FRANCISCO Oct 16 Apple Inc on
Tuesday invited members of the media to an event next week where
it is expected to challenge rivals Amazon.com Inc and
Google Inc with a less expensive and smaller version of
its popular iPad tablet.
The Oct. 23 event will be held at the California Theatre in
San Jose, Apple said in an invitation did not reveal details of
the event, but hinted at something small with the words: "We've
got a little more to show you."
An Apple spokeswoman declined to give any further details.
Wall Street analysts have said for months that Apple is
planning a smaller, less expensive version of its popular iPad
to take on cheaper competing devices.
Apple launches are some of the hottest events on the tech
calendar, scrutinized by fans, investors, the media and industry
Apple now has just one 9.7-inch iPad, though it does come
with various storage options and starts at $499. The previous
version, or iPad 2, is available now for $399.
The new smaller tablet is expected to feature a display that
is between 7 inches and 8 inches. Wall Street analysts expect
Apple will price the new tablet between $199 and $299.
A smaller iPad will directly compete with e-commerce giant
Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablet and Google's Nexus 7, both of
which have 7-inch screens and are priced at $199. The first
Kindle Fire, launched last year, went on to grab about a fifth
of the U.S. tablet market.
The California Theatre is not one of Apple's go-to venues
for product launches but the company has used the location
before, including in 2004 to unveil the Special Edition U2 iPod,
along with a performance by the rock band U2.