Apple has sent out invites for an event next Tuesday, where it's expected to announce the release of a smaller iPad.
The invite, sent to reporters Tuesday, doesn't hint at what will be revealed, beyond saying that "We've got a little more to show you." The event will be held in San Jose, California.
Media and analysts have said for months that Apple has an " iPad mini" in the works. The tablet is thought to be about half the size of the regular iPad and to start at $249 or $299. The regular iPad starts at $499 for the most recent models.
Apple founder Steve Jobs derided the idea of a smaller tablet two years ago, but Amazon.com has had some success with its Kindle Fire, which is about half the size of the iPad and starts at $159. Analysts believe Apple wants to tackle that competition with its own similarly sized tablet.
Reports suggest that the smaller iPad would have a screen that's 7.8 inches on the diagonal, a bit more than the Kindle Fire or Google's Nexus, with their 7-inch screens. The full-size iPad has a 9.7-inch screen, giving it about twice the display area as the 7-inch units.
Apple typically starts selling a new phone or iPad a week or two after announcing it. But it could treat the new iPad as a minor product update, in which case it could start selling it right after the announcement.
Apple shares rose $14.02, or 2.2 per cent, to $648.78 in midday trading Tuesday. The shares are off their all-time high of $705.07, hit September 21 when the iPhone 5 went on sale in stores.