Rumors say Apple will debut new Mac Mini and MacBooks along with iPad Mini

I tell you what, Apple fans have a lot to look forward to next week if all the rumors I'm hearing turn out to be true. I've never seen such a jam-packed yet not-official event planned!

[Update: The event is now official. Invitations started arriving several hours after this post was published.]

So the story goes that Apple will host an event next Tuesday, the 23rd. At first we heard that this was the 7.85" iPad Mini event, and that's still the case, but apparently there's more to it than that. Over the weekend there was a price leak (via a German retailer) for the Mini which revealed models starting at €249 for an 8 GB WiFi model and topping out at €649 for a 64 GB cellular/WiFi model. Between those two are stops at 16 & 32 GB tiers in both Wifi only and cellular/WiFi configurations. The price increases by €100 at every storage tier, with an additional €100 for cellular. Based on historical pricing we can strike the euro sign and replace it with a dollar sign for US pricing.

No other details leaked with the pricing. We're still assuming the iPad Mini will be based on the same basic internals as the second generation iPad.

So that's the iPad Mini but apparently that's not all we'll see next week.

We'll also be seeing a 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display, say the rumors. We don't have a lot of additional details except that it should be available soon after the event.

But wait, Tim Cook will have One More Thing. Not satisfied with just a new tablet and a new laptop, Apple will also be showing off a new Mac Mini. Again, very few details but expect 3 models, one of which runs OS X Server, and that the line will be available immediately after the announcement.

So that's a lot of announcements scheduled for an event that, as of the time of this writing, isn't even official yet but is supposed to be happening in seven days. Of course of most interest (and most likely) is the iPad Mini and I'm surprised that Apple is starting prices as low as $249. I do think many people will be happy to spend an extra $50 (over the cost of the 8 GB Nexus 7) for an Apple product; Apple fans are used to a much more hefty Apple tax than that.

It could turn out to be quite a week next week, with all these Apple goodies announced in the first half, and Windows 8 hardware hitting the retail chain in the second half. Stay tuned!

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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