Rumors had said that the invitations to an October 17 event to announce the iPad mini would go out on October 10. That was yesterday. No invitations have appeared. Maybe we'll still see them this week. But it's also possible that Apple may be delaying the introduction. Apparently the iPad mini is facing the same production issues as the iPhone 5: low yield rates on the new in-cell display technology and problems with nicks in the finish out of the box. If they're already having production issues with one new device, it would make sense to hold yet another new device until things smooth out. I'm hopeful it'll be announced soon, and we'll certainly see it in time for the Christmas season.
In the meantime, AppleInsider is reporting that retailers are already preparing displays of accessories of the iPad mini. Apparently they expect something soon. As the article explains, case makers will often begin making cases on the basis of rumors, so the preparations aren't confirmation of the new iPad.
Instead of invitations going out, the big news yesterday was the availability of the new iPod touch that has many of the features of the newiPhone 5. CNET has a great review -- and has definitely ignited my lust for this device. It's slightly less than a quarter of an inch thick, and weighs 3.1 ounces. It has a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording. The article describes it as a "feature-rich mini-handheld that's as much a mini-tablet or handheld game player as it is a music/video device and camera." Frankly, for some people thinking of the iPad mini, this might be a good option.
The price is $299 for 32GB. (The previous iPod model is also available, starting at $199 for 16GB.)
The new iPod touch has Siri and comes in a variety of colors. It also comes with a wrist strap that attaches to the device so that it's more secure when in hand. It has a faster processor, an anodized aluminum back, and the new Lightning dock connector. The front-facing camera, like that on the iPhone 5, is 1.2 megapixel and records video at 720p.
The review says that the 4-inch retina display also makes it a great gaming device, as does the boost in processor speed. And 16:9 HD videos look great on the new display, completely filling the screen.
The article includes two video reviews that help you get a good look at the device.
Seeing this makes me all the more eager to see the iPad mini. Yesterday's news, reported by The Guardian, is that it will be WiFi-only. One of the big questions remains price. With the iPod touch starting at $299, it hardly seems possible that the iPad mini would come in at that same price or lower.