Analyst: I Held the iPad mini

Topeka Capital analyst Brian White says that not only is a smaller iPad model coming on Tuesday, but that he's already held it. Mr. White claimed he got to hold a prototype version during a recent trip to China where a case maker just so happened to have the device on hand.

In a note to investors, Mr. White stated,
During our recent China-Taiwan Tech Tour, we had the opportunity to play with a pilot version of the "iPad Mini" that easily fit into our sport coat pocket. Experiencing a new form factor of an iconic product such as the iPad is a sight to behold and we believe consumer demand will reflect this phenomenon.

In line with rumors, he said he expects the new iPad model to sport a 7.85-inch display, which he's apparently in a good position to say since he said he held one in his hand. He added that the mini iPad model will include front and rear-facing cameras, Apple's new Lightning connector, offer WiFi-only or Wi-Fi plus 3G/4G connectivity, and will come in storage capacities starting at 8GB.

Analyst says he held the mini iPad. We probably need bigger pockets.Analyst says he held the mini iPad

The small iPad's colors will look more like the iPhone 5 and the device's back will more closely resemble the new iPhone model instead of the current Retina Display iPad.

Mr. White added, "We expect the "iPad Mini" to begin at a price point of $250 to $300."

Apple will be hosting a special media event on at 10AM pacific time on Tuesday, October 23, at the California Theater in San Jose where the smaller form factor iPad is expected to make its forst appearance. The Mac Observer will be on location with live coverage, so be sure to check in for the latest news from the event.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]