So finally we have some sort of a fix on when the iPad Mini will be introduced by Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL).
The iPhone maker is expected to launch the smaller version of its best-selling tablet PC on October 17, the most specific date we have had so far in the swirl of rumours surrounding the product.
The latest report on this comes from a column in Fortune written by Philip Elmer-DeWitt.
DeWitt's source is a 'major Apple investor' and according to the column October 17 is the launch date for the iPad Mini and invitations for the event are expected to go out on October 10.
The actual sales of the devices will start on November 2.
The entire schedule, starting from the unveiling of the product to its actual availability in retail stores is based on Apple's own way of having handled events of this sort in the past.
Apple usually follows the practice of starting sales on a Friday to allow customers to shop over the weekend.
The early November launch also works fine for the company as it will coincide with the start of the holiday season when people are expected to be in the mood for high-value expenditure.
However it could possibly clash with launches of other products such as Nokia's Lumia smartphones and Microsoft's Surface tablets, as also Amazons Kindle Fire HD, which is expected sometime in the third week of November.
To many devices entering the market at the same time could possibly confuse customers and also divide loyalties and purchase decisions.
But this is a risk that Apple has to take. Also, after the debacle with its Apple Maps on its iPhone 5, customers may be a bit more wary of Apple's products in the future.