Here we go again, Apple rumored to announce iPad Mini on Oct. 23

Top question of the day: Is Apple going launch an iPad Mini or not? Speculation about the purported device has never been more prevalent.

Another rumor has surfaced that suggests Apple will announce a smaller, cheaper 7.85-inch tablet, dubbed the iPad Mini, on Oct. 23. The company was widely expected to send an invitation to the press on Oct. 10 for an event on Oct. 17, following a report by Fortune. That date came and went with no word from the tech giant.

A new report by AllThingsD claims that the event will actually happen on Oct. 23. The blog cites "people familiar with Apple's plans," who cannot confirm a location for the event, but says the tablet will likely have a 7-85-inch liquid-crystal display and Lightening connector.

There have also been rumors that materials used to make the device are causing problems, which could explain the reports of multiple release dates.

DigiTimes reported earlier this month that Apple suppliers arefacing production delaysof the smaller iPad. Citing source "in Apple's supply chain," the blog reports that the iPad Mini, which will come in black and aluminum, are vulnerable to scratching because of its anodized finish.

Of course there is always a chance that Apple is not planning to launch a smaller iPad. The company's late co-founder Steve Jobs was quoted saying that 7-inch tablets were "dead on arrival." During a 2010 earnings call, Jobs said that smaller tablets were "tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad."

Of course, that was before Amazon reported strong sales of its Kindle Fire. In August, the online retailer announced that the 7-inch tablet sold out. Amazon did not specify how many units sold.

We'll find out soon enough if Apple will throw its hat in the mini tablet ring.

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