Ipad MiniThe gadget world rumour mill is whirring in overdrive following the recent launch of a new smaller version of the iPad flooding the media, internet forums and tech sites.

This hotly anticipated addition to Apple’s range of tablet computers was finally announced in the second half of October, after there having been no confirmations or denials from the computing giant as to when they planned to release the new style tablet or even if they were indeed manufacturing it at all. Before his death in 2011, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was adamant that such a compromise between the iPhone and iPad was unnecessary but since then the 7-inch tablet market has exploded.

The smaller and cheaper tablet computers such as those released by Amazon and Samsung have impacted drastically on Apple’s share of the market even though the iPad still dominates. Speculators were correct in predicting that the ‘iPad Mini’ would have a screen measuring between 7 and 8 inches diagonally compared to the current iPad’s 9.7 inches (it is infact 7,9  inches), a built in camera, wifi connectivity and the new controversial Lightning connector introduced recently on the new iPhone 5.

pad Mini smartcoverPrice will determine the success of any smaller versions of the iPad launched by Apple, and its position in their current range of products. It will need to find a space between the company’s existing Retina iPad (starts at €499), iPhone 5 (starts at €669) and iPod Touch (starts at €319) and, most importantly, compete with other 7-inch tablets already on the market. Many potential purchasers were hoping that it would be made available for between €200 and €250, but the cheapest wifi-only version costs €329.

Retailers were keen for the new model to be released at the beginning of November in time to boost Christmas trading figures and the new iPad Mini is likely to be a popular option with gamers, Apple aficionados and ebook readers looking for a sleek, high design option, less bulky and lighter than the original iPads.