Over the past few months there have been rumours surrounding the unannounced iPad mini. The device was said to be under production in a factory in Brazil. As per an exclusive report by UkranianiPhone.com, the website has received photos of the outer casing of the diminutive tablet, giving us a glimpse of what it may look like.
A related report by Gizmodo states that this is the first time that the black variant of the iPad mini has been captured on camera, and that these images were supposedly taken by a source who is close to the Apple production line in China. The report highlights that the cases match with a previous leak about the iPad mini's parts, which portrayed two dock connectors, one in white and the other in black.
The report states, “Like the iPad, the stereo mini jack Mini Jack placement seems to be at the top (1). There's a plastic cover for the Wi-Fi antenna (2) and the dock Lightning connector is at the bottom (4). It also shows a NanoSim tray (3), which is the first evidence of 3G support in the iPad mini. The material of the back panel is just like the iPhone 5: anodized aluminum. Given the leaks of the iPhone 5, the rumored imminent announcement and the appearance of these shots, it seems like this is the real thing.”
According to an earlier report by Fortune, Apple will send invites to media houses on October 10, and the agenda of the event will be a smaller version of the brand’s highly successful tablet. The report states, “This is a rumor we have no reason to believe except it comes from a major Apple (AAPL) investor who says he's heard it from "multiple sources". According to our source, who asked not be named, there appears to be some truth to the widespread rumours that Apple is preparing to launch a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad -- often called the iPad mini or iPad air, and usually described as having a 7.85-inch screen”.
The black variant
Fortune's source went on to state that the invites would be sent out on the 10th of this month. The report adds, “If the rumor is true, and if Apple follows its usual scheduling protocol, that would suggest a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2 -- plenty of time to capture holiday sales".
Apple has been losing its market share in the tablet segment to the likes of Amazon with its Kindle Fire and Google with its Nexus 7 tablet. For Apple to stay in the run, and cater to a customer base that would want a smaller tablet, Apple would have to launch a 7-inch tablet to cement its throne as the leading tablet manufacturer. The Google Nexus 7 tablet is faring exceedingly well in the market and rumours suggest that a 3G version of the tablet may also be in the works. As far as Amazon is concerned, the Kindle Fire slate is already around a year old, and the brand is expected to launch a refreshed version of the slate on September 6. Apple would need to step into this segment to battle the increasing competition from other manufacturers.