Kicking off what is to be one of the busiest weeks of the year for consumer tech, Apple is hosting a media event in San Francisco where it is expected to announce the iPad mini, an updated iPad, and a 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Widely rumoured to have a 7.85in screen with the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the iPad 2 and with an emphasis on reading, the iPad mini is thought to cost from around £220 and will go up against the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7.
Mockup of the iPad mini
The iPad mini is expected to look much like a smaller version of the current 9.7in iPad, with the same aluminium back and glass front, although numerous photos show the tablet with Apple's new Lightning connector, first featured on the iPhone 5.
A leaked list of product numbers states that the iPad mini will be priced from $329 in the US (£205 before tax) and will go as high as $659, although it is not entirely clear how much storage the tablet will get.
Some speculate that it could start with as little as 8GB, with a strong emphasis on using the device as an eBook reader and not something to carry your entire iTunes catalogue around on, although we expect more expensive 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models to be available too.
The company's invite states that it has "a little more to show you" and the bright splashes of colour suggest that the iPad mini could come in a range of colours, like the new iPod touch.
To keep prices down, Apple might chose to forego a 3G or 4G connection for the iPad mini, instead sticking with Wi-Fi, as with the iPod touch.
The Guardian said: "Industry sources indicated to the Guardian that they do not expect to see 3G-capable versions of the iPad mini. That would allow Apple to produce it comparatively cheaply and to limit the top price of the product, while retaining mobile broadband connectivity for its pricier iPad line."
Adding to speculation that the iPad mini will be advertised as a reading device to rival the Kindle Fire range, a French blog spotted a mention of the as-yet unannounced iBooks 3.0 in the iTunes bookstore, suggesting that an update to the software will launch alongside the new iPad.
Refreshed iPad to get Lightning and 4G
The Guardian claims industry sources - usually in the supply chain - have spoken to the paper, stating that the iPad mini will launch alongside a small update to the regular iPad.
This update will see the 9.7in tablet get the new Lightning port for charging and syncing, which was first introduced with the iPhone 5, iPod touch and iPod nano last month, and is much smaller than the decade-old 30-pin connector used by all previous iOS devices.
The sources also claim the iPad will be given the 1800MHz 4G band to work with EE's upcoming 4G network, which is due to launch in the UK on 30 October and provide mobile internet many times faster than the current 3G network allows.
iPads with the 1800MHz will also work on Three's 4G network, which is expected to launch next September, but it will not work with any other network, as O2 and Vodafone will be issued different bands from the network regulator Ofcom next year.
We doubt Apple will increase the iPad's performance or storage, but a minor update to include the Lightning port will help to unify the entire range of iOS devices.
MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display
Apple released the Retina-screen 15in MacBook Pro earlier this year and now it seems that the company will launch a 13in model as well, with a resolution apparently as high as 2,560 x 1,600.
Leaked photos claiming to be of the new MacBook Pro surfaced last week, showing an aluminium unibody MacBook that is even thinner at its hinge than the slim MacBook Air.
As with the 15in Retina Pro, the 13in is not thought to have a disc drive or conventional hard disk drive, instead using solid state storage; the photos also show two Thunderbolt ports on one side, and an HDMI port and SD card slot on the other.
As for price, 9to5Mac claims the laptop will cost from $1699 (£1060) in the US - a $500 premium over the regular 13in MacBook Pro and $500 cheaper than the 15in Retina model.
The 13in Retina Pro (below) and MacBook Air (above)
The website said: "We've now received pricing information on the base model and the 'better' model. Based on wholesale prices we've received, we believe the entry model 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will cost roughly $1699 at launch while the higher specc'ed model will cost $300 more making the $2000 price point likely."
Minor updates for iMac and Mac Mini
Earlier this month it was claimed that the iMac would receive a new thinner form factor and higher price, but more recent news - again from 9to5Mac - states that the iMac will not change in appearance, but will receive a small price drop in some countries.
The site said: "The three Mac mini models will likely be priced at the same $599, $799, and $999 for the two standard models and single server model, respectively.
"The new iMacs will also feature similar or same pricing as the current iMacs, but the top 27-inch and 21.5-inch models may feature slightly cheaper pricing in some countries."
It is also thought that Apple will start to offer 8GB RAM modules for the iMac and Mac Mini, where previously no more than 4GB per slot was possible, taking total configurable RAM up to 32GB in the iMac and 16GB in the Mac Mini - assuming the number of RAM slots remains the same.
The event starts at 6pm BST and IBTimes UK will be reporting on everything Apple has to announce.
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