We've been hearing a lot about a rumored 7-inch iPad this year, but the chatter has become particularly strong in recent weeks. This weekend, All Things D reported that it has "confirmed" an October release for the so-called "iPad Mini" with "several sources." The smaller iPad would be announced under a separate media event to follow one in September where a new iPhone will debut, according to the report.

Steve Jobs famously once blasted the notion of tablet smaller than the 10-inch iPad, but with Tim Cook at the helm of Apple for over a year now and competition heating up from the likes of Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7, it seems the company has reconsidered the potential for a smaller slate.

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All Things D reports that Apple will wait until a new iPhone has hit store shelves before unveiling the mini iPad.

Leaks from Apple's Asian supply chain have hinted that the company was looking into a smaller iPad for some time now, but such rumors aren't always reliable. All Things D, on the other hand, has a solid track record reporting on Apple's plans before the company makes public announcements, so this would seem to be the strongest indication yet that a smaller iPad will soon be a real option for consumers.

Apple has not returned requests for comment.

Source: All Things D