NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) will be putting on its best and brightest as it's expected to unveil the iPad Mini this week. Expectations are incredibly high for the small tablet, almost at fever pitch.
The iPad already has a dominant market share in the tablet market, owning 68% of it, according to IDC. The iPad Mini, which is expected to come in at 7.85-inches, is an attempt to boost that market share further, even as competitors like Amazon (AMZN - Get Report), Google (GOOG - Get Report), and Barnes & Noble (BKS) nip at Apple's heels.
The smaller iPad could not only be big for the tablet market, but consumers and investors as well. "Like other products, lower price points tend to drive sales. An iPad Mini we think would likely drive incremental iPad buyers," said Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu in a recent phone interview with TheStreet. "There's going to be some cannibalism of iPad sales, but we think it makes a lot of sense." Wu rates Apple shares at buy with price target of $840.
Channing Smith, portfolio manager at Capital Advisors Growth Fund, said a smaller iPad should give Apple a leg up over the competition, particularly as the holiday season approaches. "It's a powerful one-two punch with the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini," Smith said in a recent phone interview. "It sets them up very well for the holiday season."TheStreet plans to live-blog the event, which is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET Oct. 23 at the 1122-seat California Theater in San Jose, Calif.