With October 23 approaching quickly, and rumors of an iPad mini at fever pitch, everyone’s wondering when this thing is going to be available for purchase. Apple, in the past, has shipped products the same day as they’re announced, but they’ve also set shipping dates weeks, and sometimes even months, into the future depending on where around the globe you live. The hot rumor on the blogosphere today has Apple shipping the iPad mini around November 2nd, just in time for the holiday season.

Keeping in mind that an iPad mini release is not a forgone conclusion yet, and that it hasn’t been announced officially, November 2nd would get the device on store shelves in front of customers well before the holiday seasons, and before the Black Friday shopping bonanza in the US. TechCrunch and a few others believe November 2nd is the big day stating, “we’re now hearing that it will ship a week and a half after that unveiling. November 2 is the ship date we’ve heard today from a source close to Apple’s supply chain, echoing an earlier report[s]“. That gives you exactly 13 days to rebuild your iFund in time for the release.

The competition must be absolutely flustered by Apple’s move into the smaller tablet market. The only real competition to the iPad exists in the “mini” market, with devices like Amazon’s Kindle Fire making a small dent in the tablet market. If Apple drops an iPad mini into the fray, there’s a good chance things are about to get a lot more difficult for the competition.