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Can the ‘iPad Mini’ Make up for Apple Maps?

Thanks to Interbrand and common sense, we now know that Apple is the No. 2 most valuable brand in the world—and its profile is rising faster than that of any other company.

Yet, in the wake of disappointing iPhone 5 sales numbers and the whole Apple Maps debacle, some have begun to wonder whether CEO Tim Cook is strong enough to sustain his company’s incredible upward trajectory.

We may find out soon enough with Apple’s latest product roll-out: the iPad mini. Details about the model are still vague, but if we didn’t know better we might say that Apple is playing the classic “show ‘em the carrot” PR game by leaking news about their newest digital accessory, encouraging rumors to build in the tech world and getting ahead of chief rival Samsung’s mini-Galaxy S III roll-out.

How important will the iPad mini be? Will it distract the public (and the ravenous tech blog community) from Apple’s recent PR stumbles?

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