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UPDATE 1-Apple likely to unveil iPad mini on Oct. 23 - report

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Oct 12 (Reuters) - Apple Inc is expected to takethe wraps off its highly anticipated mini iPad at an Oct. 23invitation-only event, reported tech blog AllThingsD on Friday,citing sources familiar with the company.

The event would come before Microsoft Corp unveilsits latest operating system, Windows 8, and its new Surfacetablet on Oct. 26.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Speculation has been swirling for months that Apple wasplanning a smaller, less expensive version of its popular iPadto take on cheaper competing devices.

Apple shares were down 0.2 percent at $626.51 in morningNasdaq trade.

(Reporting By Jennifer Saba; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

((jennifer.saba@thomsonreuters.com)(1 646 223-6173)(ReutersMessaging: jennifer.saba.reuters.com@reuters.com))

Keywords: APPLE MINIIPAD EVENT