Engineering samples of Apple’s rumored iPad Mini have surfaced and they show a much thinner tablet compared to its larger predecessor.
On the same day that engineering samples of the iPhone 5 were reportedly leaked by the blog Gotta Be Mobile, the site also released the iPad Mini samples, which show what is believed to be a case maker’s mold.
This rumor, however, must be taken with a grain of salt. Leaked photos of case molds have surfaced before — including a tapered iPhone design that never came to be.
Based on the photos and Gotta Be Mobile’s report, the iPad Mini will measure in at about 213 mm b 143 mm and be slightly thinner than the full-size iPad.
Apple has been heavily rumored to release a smaller version of its iPad to compete directly against the Amazon Kindle and now Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet. The iPad Mini is rumored to have a 7.85-inch screen, down about 3-inches from its current model.
According to the report, the iPad Mini would be taller and slightly wider than Google’s 7-inch tablet.
Another interesting aspect of the leaked photos is the smaller dock shown on the bottom of the tablet. Apple has been heavily rumored to ditch its classic 30-pin connector and go to a smaller (possibly 19-pin) connecting dock that would essentially only be used for charging the device. Apple is focusing more on iCloud this year with the release of next-generation mobile operating system iOS 6, eliminating the need to sync your device by plugging it in to a computer.
The iPad Mini is rumored to be released this October alongside the new iPhone 5 and possibly a new iMac lineup and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Will the iPad Mini be a popular tablet? It’s very likely, but will it kill the current iPad? That’s still to be seen.