Steve Jobs once called them "tweeners'' and "dead on arrival'' but this morning Apple bit the bullet and launched its own 7-inch tablet called the iPad Mini.
The new-look iPad is significantly smaller, weighs just 308 grams, and is a lot cheaper than the 9.7-inch iPad launched in March, with a starting price of just $369.
The iPad Mini will also come with an optional 4G mobile internet connection, the same dual-core chip as the iPad 2, two cameras including a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 10-hour battery life.
But the iPad Mini does not feature a Retina display like its big brother, instead featuring the lower resolution of the iPad 2, and it doesn't match the power or $249 price of Google's current quad-core 7-inch tablet, the Nexus 7.
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduces the iPad Mini. AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Apple worldwide marketing senior vice-president Phil Schiller revealed the smallest iPad in San Jose this morning, saying "this isn't just a shrunken down iPad: it’s an entirely new iPad."