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NEW YORK (AP) - Apple is sending out invites to reporters for an event next Tuesday, where it's expected to announce the release of a smaller iPad.

The invite to the venue in San Jose, Calif., doesn't hint at what's will be revealed, but media and analyst have said for months that Apple has an "iPad mini" in the works.

The tablet is thought to be about half the size of the regular iPad and to start at $249 or $299.

Apple founder Steve Jobs derided the idea of a smaller tablet two years ago, but Amazon.com Inc. has had some success with its Kindle Fire, which is half the size of the iPad and starts at $159. Analysts believe Apple wants to tackle that competition with its own similarly sized tablet.

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