iPad mini likely to be unveiled on October 23

Customers flock to an Apple store where the latest version of the Apple iPad went on sale in Apple stores in Shanghai on July 20, 2012. Picture: AFP.

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc is expected to take the wraps off its highly anticipated mini iPad at an October 23 invitation-only event, reported tech blog AllThingsD on Friday, citing sources familiar with the company.

The event would come before Microsoft Corp unveils its latest operating system, Windows 8, and its new Surface tablet on October 26.

An Apple spokesman did not immediately respond for comment.

Speculation has been swirling for months that Apple was planning a smaller, less expensive version of its popular iPad to take on cheaper competing devices.