APPLE has unveiled its widely-anticipated 7.9in (20.1cm) tablet, the iPad Mini.
The device, which is 7.2mm (0.3in) thick and weighs 0.68lbs (0.3kg), was announced at an event in California. The entry wi-fi-only model, with 16GB storage, will cost $769 in the UK and be available on 2 November. The iPad Mini will compete directly with cheaper similar-sized tablets recently launched by Google, Amazon, Samsung and others.
Apple's vice-president of marketing Phil Schiller told attendees the device was 23 per cent thinner and 53 per cent lighter than the third-generation iPad, which was released in March this year.
The iPad Mini launch ends years of speculation that Apple was considering launching a new, smaller version of its bestselling iPad range.
In 2010, late founder Steve Jobs described 7in tablets as being "too small". However, the company's apparent change of heart comes in the face of mounting pressure from its closest competitors, who already offer smaller — and crucially, cheaper — products.