The photo below might be a fully-functional iPad Mini.
Normally, we don't accept just any old photos as truth, but pictures have been remarkably consistent and accurate this year. The photos are consistent with the iPad Mini photos we published a week ago, and this is exactly how the iPhone 5 was revealed before its official announcement. If the iPhone 5 leaks were any indication of what to expect, this could be an authentic miniature iPad.
It's hard to get a perspective of the size, but it seems to match up with past leaks. The necessary parts are there, such as the cameras and the new Lightning connector, which made its official debut during last week's iPhone 5 media event.
The tablet is likely Apple's answer to smaller, lower-priced 7-inch tablets, which shot into popularity with Amazon's tablet, the Kindle Fire. Perhaps the success of the Fire led Apple to see that there is a market for smaller tablets, and the company feels the need to secure a spot before its competitors grab it.
Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz makes an interesting point in his report. The iPhone 5 was the most-leaked product in Apple's history. It might mean one of three things:
- The leaks are intentional by Apple, and are meant to control expectations, or
- Foxconn employees are getting better at sneaking things out of the plant, or
- the company has become so huge that there is no way to prevent leaks.
With its last press invitation, Apple seemed okay with hinting that the upcoming product was an iPhone 5. That's an indication that it is aware of the leaks. Apple realized it couldn't prevent them, so it just ran with them.
The iPad Mini is rumored to have a 7.8-inch screen, with a thinner bezel than the current iPad. If previous reports are accurate, we can expect to hear an official announcement in October, just in time for the holiday season.
Hat tip to Gizmodo.