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Apple is expected to announce the release of the iPad mini on October 17.

A major investor in the company told Fortune that invitations would be sent to reporters on October 10.

This event would confirm rumors of a smaller, cheaper version of Apple's iPad.

The new model will essentially look the same as a third-generation iPad, but is expected to be 7.85 inches and have the new Lightning connector unveiled with the iPhone 5.

Experts predict the product be available as soon as Friday, November 2, which positions Apple to capture holiday sales.

Apple has not commented on the rumor.

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