With the run up to the launch of the iPhone 5, which based on several reports could happen on September 12th, there hasn’t been much leaked or said about that other major product announcement – the iPad mini. That is, until last night, when 9to5Mac who based on several sources started to piece together the possible design of the iPad mini. The report was later corroborated by Rene Ritchie of iMore, who put forth this mockup based on what he’s heard.
Sources indicate the iPad mini will look similar to an iPod touch, making it incredibly thin, possibly one third the width of a Nexus 7. The bezels in portrait mode would be more iPod touch than iPad 2. Also of note will be the volume buttons, which will not be the rocker style, but will individual buttons.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball put together his thoughts, coupled with mathematics to provide his theory on the screen size and aspect ratio.
These part leaks are legitimate, and the display is 4:3. Therefore, the front face of the device (held in portrait) will have more of an iPhone-esque “forehead and chin” bezel surrounding the display — thick at the top and bottom (providing room for the FaceTime camera and home button), but thin along the sides.
DigiTimes first reported back in March that Apple would adopt a slim bezel display on a new 7.85-inch iPad.
An interesting tidbit from Gruber’s piece were his thoughts on the timing of iPad mini stories from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, both of which came at the same time we started to see positive reviews for Google’s Nexus 7, a tablet that had potentially found a gap in the pricing umbrella.
“…at the same time the Nexus 7 reviews began appearing and the device started shipping to customers — is merely coincidental and not a strategic competitive leak from Apple PR, then I would like to invite you to play in my poker game.”
The lack of parts leaks to date seem to indicate the iPad mini isn’t as far along in the manufacturing stage for a September launch, but it certainly does not mean Apple would not announce it alongside the iPhone 5. If Apple PR did indeed strategically drop information on the upcoming mini to thwart sales of the Nexus 7, then a September announcement would help bolster their efforts. Those in the market for a smaller, thinner, less-expensive tablet would have more options, even if it meant waiting a few weeks for the release date. That would in effect close the umbrella.