iPad Mini on the way?

From iPods to iPads, Apple have for some years now dominated the gadget world, and now rumours suggest the company is set to expand their range with an iPad 'Mini'.

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Reports that the mid-sized tablet will be the next weapon in Apple's considerable arsenal first appeared in China, where web portal NetEase claims to have inside knowledge of the East Asian companies that manufacture Apple products.

The site claims that the smaller version of the iPad may be ready to launch as early as the autumn and, according to msnbc.com, would cost between $249 and $299.

Similar reports from a Japanese technology site last month suggested Apple have been working on a device with a 5-inch screen, half the size of the existing iPad but with the same high resolution.

That would put the smaller gadget in direct competition with the already highly successful Samsung Galaxy Note, a mobile phone that boasts a 5.3-inch screen, and the Kindle Fire, which at seven inches is still smaller than the iPad.

However, it is not yet known whether Apple's rumoured mid-size device will function as a phone or simply as a handier tablet PC.

What do you think? Would you invest in an iPad Mini? Leave your comments below...