Rumor: iPad mini invitations set to be mailed out Oct. 10 by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine October 1, 2012, 4:53 PM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons The iPad and a mock-up of its little sister. Image: 9to5Mac FORTUNE — This is a rumor we have no reason to believe except it comes from a major Apple AAPL investor who says he’s heard it from “multiple sources.” According to our source, who asked not be named, there appears to be some truth to the widespread rumors that Apple is preparing to launch a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad — often called the iPad mini or iPad air and usually described as having a 7.85-inch screen. What our source adds is the specificity of a date: The press, he says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10. If the rumor is true, and if Apple follows its usual scheduling protocol, that would suggest a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2 — plenty of time to capture holiday sales. Apple has not commented on the rumor, which is not surprising given that the company has never uttered a word in public — one way or the other — about its future tablet product plans.