Is a mini iPad Apple's next big thing?

Apple seems determined to stay on top of the tablet game.

Recently, Google announced its smaller Nexus 7 tablet. Microsoft's Surface is also expected on the market soon.{}

Now this: Apple reportedly will release a smaller, less expensive iPad before next year.{} If the rumors are true, it would be Apple's biggest departure thus far from the vision of former CEO Steve Jobs.{} He{}was adamant that anything smaller than the iPad wouldn't deliver the full tablet experience.