Apple is expected to announce a smaller iPad today

Apple is expected to announce a smaller 7.85-inch version of its iPad at a press conference in San Jose, California, Tuesday morning. Rumors and leaks have been plentiful ahead of the announcement, as they were for last month’s iPhone 5 unveiling, but there’s still the potential for a few surprises.

All signs point to a smaller iPad with specifications similar to the iPad 2. The two models might turn out to have an iPhone/iPod touch relationship, with the smaller iPad always one generation behind in the features department. That means it won’t have a Retina screen just yet, though it will probably sport the new Lightning connector port. A recent Apple Insider report shows 12 possible configurations, dabbling in different memory sizes (from 8GB to 64GB), connection options (WiFi or WiFi + cellular) and colors (black or white).

How much cheaper the smaller iPad will be is uncertain. Price predictions have been all over the map this rumor cycle, but the general consensus is that they will cost less than the current $500 iPad (the older iPad 2 is still being sold for $400), and be slightly more expensive than competing 7-inch products.

Apple customers have proven they are willing to pay a premium for their products.

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