Apple looks set to release its much-rumoured iPad mini in October, after what appears to be a sanctioned 'leak' from the company.

The iPad mini looks set to go against former CEO Steve Jobs' objections to a smaller-scale tablet - with a sub-8-inch screen compared to the new iPad's 10-inch touchscreen. 

The October release date for the iPad mini was initially reported on AllThingsD, and looks like an official leak.

Previously the media has speculated on a dual announcement of the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini at an Apple event on September 12, with an iPhone 5 release date of September 21.

iPad Mini

With the iPhone being Apple's marquee product it makes sense for Apple to separate the two announcements. Apple gets two hits of massive product publicity by announcing its new smartphone and tablet in separate events.

But this 'leak' is significant because it's the best evidence yet that Apple really will start selling two different-sized models of iPad.

It is also surely no coincidence that the leak sprang into public attention on the very day that Apple won substantial damages against Samsung in its US patent lawsuit - which some have suggested could hurt the iPad maker's reputation, in its all-out war on patent infringements.

Apple has clearly noted the popularity of smaller tablets such as the 7-inch Google Nexus, with the iPad mini appealing to that potentially huge market.

AllThingsD's John Paczkowski reported that several unnamed sources at Apple have indicated that following the iPhone 5 September launch, the iPad mini will follow.

"Only after the next generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it's been working on.

"That device, which is expected to have a display of less than eight inches, will be uncrated at a second special event, which sources said is currently scheduled for October," said Paczkowski on the site that has proved accurate on previous rumours, such as the March release of the iPad 3.