Apple debuts iPad mini tablet

Apple introduced a smaller version of its iPad tablet computer today at a media event in San Jose. The new tablet, called the iPad mini, has a 7.9-inch screen, as compared with the 9.7-inch iPad introduced in 2010. The tablet’s starting price will be $499.

The new iPad would compete with Amazon.com’s Kindle Fire HD and Google’s Nexus 7, both of which have 7-inch screens. Apple’s smaller tablet has been widely anticipated and could help the Cupertino technology giant extend its lead in tablet computers.

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