Back in 2010, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that smaller screened tablets were not "sufficient to create great tablet apps" and would be "dead on arrival", so rumours suggesting a new iPad mini is in the works reveals a potentially new direction for the firm in its post-Jobs era.
Believe it or not, there's certainly a lot of chat surrounding the iPad Mini, so we've scooped it all up, mushed it all together and expelled it into a handy round up, allowing you to keep track of every twist and turn.
If you're pressed for time then check out our iPad Mini rumour roundup video below.
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Update: A new report has examined the prospects for an iPad Mini - and how it might contribute to the company's bottom line, particularly with gamers and the educational market.
According to analyst Ben A. Reitzes, the iPad Mini would not be a threat to Apple's current domination with the New iPad, and is likely to be a favourite among gamers as well as educational institutes, particularly with the electronic textbooks introduced earlier this year.
Update: And if you were ever wondering, will Apple really go with the iPad Mini name, an "Asian source" quoted by a Japanese site seems confident that yes, it really will be called the iPad Mini. Wow.
iPad Mini release date
There's not even an official sign from Apple that the iPad Mini/iPad nano is in the works, so a release date for the tablet is even more up in the air.
However, if the rumours turn out to be true, we can expect Apple to start rolling out the iPad Mini very soon after an extraordinarily over-hyped launch event. Most rumours suggest it's likely to happen well before Christmas.
The latest rumour in the mill of iPad Mini release dates comes from an unknown source (*sigh*), which claims we'll see Apple take to the stage on September 12 to show off the next handset, alongside the iPhone 5 - however tech journalist John Gruber doesn't think Apple would launch the two products at the same time, instead opting for two separate events to get maximum exposure for each.
Update: October has been mooted by an AllThingsD source as the month which the iPad Mini will arrive - "Only after the next generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it's been working on. That device, which is expected to have a display of less than eight inches, will be uncrated at a second special event, which sources said is currently scheduled for October."
Update: News has broken suggesting that Foxconn, the only manufacturer of iPads, as lost between 50 and 60 percent of iPad Mini production to Chinese manufacturer Pegatron. This could signal production of the pint-sized tablet getting stepped up as Apple looks to launch the device next month.
Previous iPad Mini release date rumours include:
Update: A report straight out of China suggests that key Apple manufactures Foxconn and Pegatron have started to receive orders for the new iPad mini. It goes on to say the factories will have 6 million units ready for a launch in Q3 of 2012.
Apple is known for its extravagant products, launch events and pricing policies, but the iPad Mini may herald a new era for those who long for an Apple device, but simply can't part with an arm and a leg to buy one.
It's thought that Apple's idea behind the iPad nano is to tackle the budget end of the market, where the Amazon Kindle Fire is currently king.
The New York Times has spoken to people "with knowledge of the project", who claim the iPad Mini will be significantly cheaper than the current iPad.
Update: Could the iPad Mini be a super cheap tablet contender? It can according to one source, who claims it will land with a price tag between $200 and $250 (around £150) - we certainly hope this turns out to be true!
Update: Those famous "various analysts" and "industry sources" have spoken out again, confirming that the iPad Mini should arrive on the market for $249-$299 (around £159-£190).
As the name suggests, we're looking at an iPad that will be sporting a screen smaller than the stock 9.7-inch display found on the first three Apple tablets.
In February we saw a report from the Wall Street Journal claiming a source from an Apple component supplier had confirmed it was testing a smaller screen for Apple, in the region of 8 inches, with a similar resolution to the iPad 2.
Update: April saw Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu reveal that Apple had been testing devices with screens ranging from 4 to 12-inches and highlighted that the 7.85-inch format would be most likely "when, not if" the iPad mini is launched. Wu also predicted the iPad nano would sport the same resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, at 1,024 x 768 – meaning developers wouldn't have to tweak their apps.
In terms of thickness, Japanese blog Macotakara cites an unknown source, claiming the iPad Mini will be 7.2mm thick.
Macotakara also wrote that the iPad Mini would come with 3G functionality.
Update: Some dodgy looking pictures have showed up online, claiming to show the back case of the iPad Mini - and you'll notice that there's no rear-facing camera at play.
Sadly there's little else to go on from these snaps, with the source failing to provide any more information - real or fake? The choice, as they say, is yours.
Update: An image has leaked online claiming to show the rear case of the iPad Mini - although it's highly dubious as it doesn't seem to have the Apple finesse found on the rest of the product range.
iPad Mini accessories
Even though there's been no official work from Apple on whether it's even building a mini iPad, it hasn't stopped third party manufacturers predicting the Cupertino firm's intentions and producing cases for the tiny tablet.
One case which appeared online in China showed an additional hole in the back of the cover, prompting questions on what Apple may be adding to the back of the iPad Mini – possibly a rear-facing microphone?
iPad Mini early verdict
Well, we're still unsure whether Apple will go down the iPad Mini route. Steve Jobs made his stance on smaller tablets quite clear, and it would be a daring move by the Cupertino firm to go against its popular former boss.
But the budget tablet market is one that is definitely growing, and one that Apple isn't currently part of, so it won't be too much of a surprise if the firm does decide to go down this route.
We'd love to see a new iPad Mini come to market, since it would certainly give Amazon and co a run for their money... plus it would be intriguing to see what Apple would do with the smaller format.