The iPad Mini is out today – did you notice?

It might surprise you to hear that Apple’s long-awaited iPad Mini was launched today.

It might surprise because the launch seems to have lacked the normal level of fanfare that one has become accustomed to with the launch of new Apple hardware.

TechRadar reports that just a handful of tech fans” were to be found at Apple’s Covent Garden store this morning, with just 30 people in the queue in Hong Kong. Tokyo had around 300 attendees, but this is significantly lower than the large crowds that gathered for the launch of iPhone 5 and iPad 3.

However, don’t be too quick to judge Apple’s latest machine.

With many Apple fans already owning an iPhone and iPad (and maybe a Mac and an iPod) the iPad Mini may not be a compulsive day one purchase. But expect it to appeal heavily to Christmas gift buyers who could see it as a more affordable alternative to a fully-specced iPad 4.

Speaking of which, iPad 4 is also on sale today – but as an incredibly incremental update to the existing model a huge launch furore was never expected for that machine.

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