The Mini can be pre-ordered from Friday (26 October), the day after UK customers can get their hands on Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and Apple claims all models will be available by late November.
The most basic version, 16GB with wi-fi, is, at £269, only £60 less than the starting price for the iPad.
Apple’s launch message pitched the Mini as exactly like the iPad, with nothing taken away, but small enough to be used, in the words of product design chief Jony Ive that "will be used in so many different places in so many different ways".
Phil Schiller, the marketing chief who company recently locked in to 2016 with a $60m package, unveiled the Mini at yesterday’s launch with the claim it was "as thin as a pencil" and "as light as a pad of paper" and 53% lighter than the iPad.
It has the same 1,024x768 resolution display as the iPad as well as Siri and Facetime.
Apple has produced a characteristically slick product demo video featuring Ive, as well as Michel Tchao, vice president iPad product marketing, and Dan Riccio, senior vice president product engineering.
It has the edge on the Kindle Fire demo video (below), though Amazon has raised its marketing game with a recent brand-focused TV campaign ahead of the Fire’s launch.