It’ll be a cheaper and smaller – but the expectation for the iPad mini is huge. And now there’s a date when it will be revealed: Oct. 23.

Media outlets say that’s the date Apple Inc. will unveil the smaller version of its popular tablet. Though Apple has not confirmed the date, reports are citing sources “familiar with the plans."

Apple Inc. hasn't said anything about a smaller tablet, a concept company founder Steve Jobs derided two years ago. But company-watchers have assumed for months that an "iPad mini" will appear before the holiday season.

The screen is reportedly about half the size of the iPad's, which measures 9.7 inches diagonally. Analysts speculate the starting price of the device could be about $299.

With the device, Apple could close an opening in the tablet market for rivals like Amazon.com Inc., whose Kindle Fire is half the size of the iPad and starts at $199. Google Inc. and Barnes and Noble Inc. also sell tablets in the same size and price range.

Apple's event would occur three days before Microsoft Corp. releases Windows 8, the new version of its operating system. Microsoft will be releasing its "Surface" tablets with the software.

Apple's stock rose $1.61 on Friday to close at $629.71.

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