Apple Will Reportedly Send iPad Mini Invites October 10th

With the launch of iPhone 5 and iOS 6 out of the way, it's time to move on to the Next Big Rumor™: iPad mini. Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt wrote on Monday that one of his sources is claiming that Apple will begin sending out invitations for the media event announcing the device on October 10th.

The iPad mini Apple Rumor Mill

The Apple Rumor Mill

Apple has been rumored to be working on a 7-inch iPad mini for the past 18 months, but those rumors heated up during the last six months. As we have pointed out in the past, Apple's supply chain is simply to large for the company to maintain the kind of control for which it used to be known—every product release of the last several years has been preceded by a wave of fairly accurate reports, and the iPad mini is shaping up to be the same.

At one point, Apple was expected to announce the iPad mini and the iPhone 5 at the same time. That thought was put to bed when John Gruber and Jim Dalrymple offered a one-two combo that said the company would instead host separate events, with the iPad mini even in October.

Enter today's report from Fortune. Citing an unnamed and unspecified source, Mr. Elmer-Dewitt said that invitations for the iPad mini media event will go out on October 10th, suggesting an October 17th time frame for the media event itself. The company is then expected to ship the device in late October or early November.

So gird your loins and get ready for the rumors to heat up even more—the iPad mini is a comin'.