Apple products are subject to intense amounts of speculation and this one is no different. The iPad Mini has been a source of intrigue in the tech world in the last few weeks with a lot of rumours stating that Apple has a 7.85-inch tablet planned and it is coming soon. Now, we have a new leak courtesy GottaBeMobile that claims to have access to exclusive engineering samples for the iPad mini. They state that this will be the thinnest Apple tablet yet and will be only two thirds the size of the current iPad. Another image leak also shows a 19 pin dock connector, which was rumoured to be part of the iPhone 5. Chances are high that this iPad will come with a Retina Display as well. Well, these are just rumours and speculations as of now and we’ll have to wait for some time to get concrete evidence of a new smaller iPad mini. 

Compared to the larger, 9.7-inch iPad

Compared to the larger, 9.7-inch iPad

There had already been reports that Apple component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the existing iPad, confirming that the launch of the device is near. Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, have said that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet. Earlier this year, there had been reports doing the rounds, which indicated that Apple was testing a tablet with a smaller display, but hadn't yet decided whether to proceed with production. 

The smaller connector

The smaller connector

It may be really interesting if Apple does launch an iPad with a lower budget as the brand has lost a significant amount of market share to 7-inch tablets. The most prominent one among these is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which has eaten quite a bit of Apple’s share in the tablet market in comparison to other tablets. However, former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, had always been against a smaller-sized tablet as he believed that only the 9.7-inch form factor was the way to go.

Side view of the product

Side view of the product

An interesting thing is that Apple has never succumbed to competition by launching products with lower prices. The brand faced stiff competition when netbooks running Windows were launched. However, they did not concede and instead unveiled the MacBook Air, which is still quite costly in comparison to netbooks. On the other hand, to tackle the competition they unveiled a new product altogether, the iPad.

With ASUS and Google already releasing the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon readying to release the Kindle Fire 2, it would make sense if Apple does launch a smaller tablet. In the past, there have been rumours of Apple launching an iPhone nano, but it did not bear fruit. But as of now, these are mere rumours and speculations regarding a smaller iPad and all will be known in the next few months if Apple does intend to launch an iPad mini.

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