Apple iPad Mini reports solidify

Breathless reports about new Apple devices never seem to go out of style. Rumors coalesce, reports accumulate and hype builds for Cupertino’s next big move.

As you are no doubt aware, rumors have been swirling for quite a while now that Apple is prepping a smaller iOS tablet aptly nicknamed the iPad Mini to compete with Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire and  Google’s recently introduced Nexus 7.

And now the New York Times has weighed in on the highly anticipated iPad Mini – claiming the (as yet) unannounced iPad will boast a 7.85-inch form factor and “cost significantly less than the latest $499 iPad.”

The NYT also claims the smaller iPad is slated to launch later this fall, which would make perfect sense if Apple plans on rolling out the new iOS tablet in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season.

There have been several leaked images, such as the one seen above, allegedly showing what are supposedly engineering samples of the new smaller screen iPad.

The leaked images purportedly depict a rearranged speaker assembly and smaller 19-pin docking connector.

Aanalysts and journalists alike believe a smaller screen iPad weighing in at a lower price is all part of Cupertino’s comprehensive strategy to grab and retain a large chunk of the tablet market share by introducing devices of various sizes.

Personally, I don’t really believe that Apple wantsor needs to compete with some of the other small screen tablet devices currently on the market – at least in terms of going head-to-head on price with the $199 Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7. Rather, a smaller iPad would probably be priced somewhere in the  $299 range.