Rumours indicate that the Apple iPad mini will be launched this year. Fans of the brand have devised renders of this 7-inch slate which look extremely pleasing to the eyes. There was no information yet about the looks of the exterior of the 7.85-inch tablet.

Apparently, photos of the rear casing of the iPad mini have emerged online for the first time, as per a report by iMore that obtained this information via Nowhereelse.frThe back shell of the tablet comes with no surprises, and has all the expected features.

Smaller dock connector

Smaller dock connector

However, iMore has a different take on it and it believes that the image could be that of an early prototype of the upcoming tablet. Commenting on the casing of this tablet, the Apple dedicated website states, “The most noticeable difference will be the size as the iPad mini is rumored to have a 7.85 inch screen, which is a little less than 2 inches smaller than its predecessors. Other changes include the expected micro dock connector along the bottom. Another difference is the location of the speaker opening. The current iPad and iPad 2 do not have openings along both sides for speakers, only the right. The opening is also on a curve upwards more towards the back on current iterations of the iPad. I'm not sure Apple would move the speakers completely to the bottom of the assembly due to noise interference depending on how you're holding the iPad.”

Another point of mention is the fact that it appears a lot thicker than it is anticipated. However, the website does mention that it could be the way the photograph was taken and it could in actuality be thinner than it looks. Commenting on the thickness of the tablet casing, the report states, “Perhaps Apple will have to sacrifice some thinness in order to make room for components in a smaller size shell but this is contrary to what we have heard here at iMore regarding what the iPad mini will most likely look like. Our sources state that not only should the iPad mini be smaller, but thinner as well.”

Openings at the top for cameras

Openings at the top for cameras

Another image of the rear casing shows the openings for the FaceTime cameras at the front and back as well as an opening for an antenna assembly at the top.

An earlier report indicated that Apple would be ramping up production for this smaller tablet with it expecting to produce 4 million units of the same beginning September. A report by Digitimes stated, “Supply volume of Apple's 7.85-inch iPad is estimated to reach four million units per month starting in September in order to prepare for demand from year-end holidays, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Rumors are circulating in the IT market that Apple will launch its 7.85-inch iPad in October with a thinner screen frame to allow the device to feature a bigger display area than other competing products and will also feature a resolution similar to that of iPad 2.”

Publish date: September 7, 2012 3:27 pm| Modified date: December 19, 2013 12:52 am

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