Apple is rumoured to be sending out invites for the much-anticipated iPad mini launch to journalists on 10 October. The launch itself is therefore being tipped for 17/18 October.

A source - reportedly "a major Apple investor" - has told Fortune that the 7.85-inch iPad mini is definitely happening this year and that it will be cheaper than the normal iPad.

The source also added that the invites will arrive on journos' desks next Wednesday, 10 October. If true, then based on usual Apple convention the launch will be seven days or eight days later, on 17 or 18 October. Fortune is also suggesting that the on-sale date for the new device will be Friday 2 November, 16 days later.

However, we're not sure about this latter date, as the iPhone 5 launched on 12 September and went on sale Friday 21 September, only nine days later. It really depends whether the firm has enough stock already manufactured to meet demand. We suspect it will need a lot.

Are you excited by the iPad mini? Is Apple making a big mistake or a cunning move? Let us know in the comments below...