Apple is expected to unveil a new, smaller form factor iPad tablet at an event in San Francisco later on Tuesday, in a move to compete directly with the growing challenge from rival's Google and Amazon.
Rumours of a 7in iPad Mini have been circulating for a while and events invites sent out last week to US press outlets hinted that the firm will indeed unveil the device.
The move comes in response to growing challenges to Apple's market dominance in the tablet space as challengers Google and Amazon. Both entered the 7in market ahead of Apple with their Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire tablets respectively.
These low-cost Android tablets have performed well in the market, undercutting Apple's offering and appealing to those looking for a smaller, more compact device.
Apple appears to have recognised this threat and is now gearing up to fight back with its own device.
"For the first time in its recent history Apple is responding to market pressures from its competitors, namely Google and Amazon in bringing a smaller tablet to market," said Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum.
"Apple in the past has defined new products with new form factors and waited for the market to follow, in this instance Apple is following the market trend towards smaller cheaper tablet form-factors."
Although details are obviously vague at present, it's likely to offer much the same functions and features of a full-sized iPad, although may lose some components like the camera.
This should help Apple keep the price to around £200 or lower, which will be key if it is to compete with its rivals on prices.
The event will also see the firm unveil a series of new MacBook products
The move comes in the same week that rival Microsoft is set to officially launch its Windows 8 operating system on the market alongside its own Surface tablet running the platform, as it also seeks to battle back against Apple.
So far Microsoft's tablet appears a hit with consumers, as some models have already sold out on pre-order in the US.
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