Today's official Apple event could be focused around the educational benefits of the iPad mini, and could be used to introduce a new version of iBooks, reports have suggested.

Bloomberg reports that 'a person with knowledge of the planning' has said: "Apple executives plan to make a point of highlighting the iPad's educational capabilities" at the launch event tonight.

Schools have begun to adopt the full-size iPad to aid learning, but the little iPad's smaller price tag could encourage more schools with a tighter budget to get the technology into the classroom.

There is speculation that iBooks 3.0 could be part of tonight's announcements, after users spotted some titles in the iTunes Store specifying iBooks 3.0 as a requirement.

The requirements are listed by Apple, and not by third-party developers, and an eBook publisher has confirmed that iBooks 3.0 is not a typo.

Separate reports suggest that Apple will launch its iBookstore in 18 new countries after today's event, including Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru, which would bring the total amount of countries with iBookstore available to 50.

Apple is also rumoured to be introducing a 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display, new iMac and a revamped iPad 3 at today's 'A little more to show you' event.

You can follow Apple's event by tuning in to our live feed at 6pm today.

See also:

Photos of iPad 3 with Lightning emerge, could be unveiled by Apple today
Apple advises users to 'get ready for the new iTunes' ahead of tonight's event
Tablet trade-ins spike as 'iPad mini' event nears
Big thoughts on a little iPad