Apple is expected to step up its tech battle with rivals Samsung and Amazon today by launching a smaller version of its iPad.
Apple has sold 84 million iPads since their debut in April 2010. But competitors were quick off the mark to get into the tablet market.
One of the first competitors to appear was a Samsung tablet with a 7-inch screen. At the time, Apple's late founder, Steve Jobs, to derided the concept.
Speaking in October 2010, Jobs said:
– Steve Jobs, speaking in 2010
The reason we wouldn't make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit a price point. It's because we don't think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.
Jobs added that the resolution of the display could be increased to make up for the smaller size, but that would be "meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size."
The production of a smaller iPad would not be the first time Apple has made a product that Jobs initially dismissed as ridiculous.
In an internal email sent in January 2011, Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said that a 7-inch tablet would work well and that Jobs was starting to come around to the idea. The email surfaced as part of Apple's patent trial against Samsung this year.
Apple always keeps quiet about its products ahead of their official launch and hasn't said anything about the device.
Here's how tech bloggers expected the 'iPad Mini' to compare to its rivals.
- A screen measuring 7.85 inches on the diagonal, making it about half the size of the regular iPad
- Slightly larger than the 7-inch tablets it's designed to compete with, including Amazons Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7
- Estimates on price put the iPad Mini at twice the price of the cheapest Kindle Fire
The official unveiling is due at 6pm UK time.