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iPad mini may launch with 24 different models

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Product codes relating to the upcoming iPad mini tablet suggest that it may some in as many as 24 different variations.

A list of iPad mini product codes has been posted by 9to5Mac. There are three groups of tags in each that differentiate the surprisingly wide array of models. The iPad minis are either "good", "better" or "best", either "A" or "B", and either "P101", "P103", "P105" or "P107".

It may sound like nonsense, but a little decoding can make it all much clearer. The iPad mini is rumoured to come in silver and black finishes, accounting for the "A" and "B" tags. A wide spread of storage options is also expected, and the P-series numbers fit in perfectly with the hypothesis that the iPad mini will be available with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal memory.

All that's left is the group of almost riddle-like "good", "better" and "best" names. These may relate to the connectivity options on offer - Wi-Fi only, 3G and 4G/LTE. There you have it: the neatest explanation for all 24 product codes.

There have also been suggestions that some of these codes may also relate to tweaked iPad 3 models that feature the Lightning connector. Current iPads use the 30-pin socket, as the Lightning jack was only introduced with the more recent iPhone 5. However, changing the iPad design so soon would require a significant case redesign that would further rock the iOS accessories market.

The iPad mini launch has been all-but confirmed to take place next week on 23 October. Apple has sent out invites in the US for an event to be held next week at the California Theatre in San Jose. Taking the time difference into account, we'll know the full details about the iPad mini just after 6pm on 23 October.

Other Apple news expected to be announced next week include the introduction of a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a new Mac Mini.

Apple is yet to confirm the specs of the iPad mini, but as usual we know a good deal about the small tablet already. It's likely to feature a 7.85in 1,024 x 768 pixel screen, aluminium rear design and a dual-core processor. Best of all, it'll cost around half the price of the full-size iPad at £200-ish - the iPad mini price reportedly starts at $249 stateside.

Place your bets - will this become the no. 1 Christmas present of 2012? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.  

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