iPad Mini Unofficial Renderings Appear, Release Date Rumor Surfaces
This week's iPad Mini rumors suggest the official launch of the device could come as early as Oct. 17, while leaked photos of the alleged 7-inch tablet show up on the Web.Just days after a Wall Street Journal article reported production had begun on a long-rumored smaller iPad, informally dubbed the iPad Mini, a spate of renderings illustrating the device appeared on the Web from graphic designer Martin Hajek. Hajek drew attention earlier this year with his renderings of the iPhone 5 before its release. The unofficial renderings, done in the same style Apple displays its products, show a Lightening connector port on the bottom of the device, redesigned speakers and a version of the tablet in a teal-blue shell. Adding more grist to the rumor mill was a report in Fortune that quoted an unnamed “major Apple investor” who said press invitations for the official unveiling of the iPad Mini would be mailed out Oct. 10, which could mean the media event could come as early as Oct. 17. Apple would likely want the iPad Mini available to consumers ahead of the holiday shopping season. Earlier rumors about the iPad Mini suggested the device would have a 7.85 inch display, which would have a lower resolution than the 9.7-inch high-definition Retina display on the full-size iPad. Photos posted Monday to UkranianiPhone.com, which claimed to show front and back panels belonging to the smaller iPad, also showed what could be slot for a nano SIM tray, a rear-facing iSight camera and the back panel featuring the Apple logo with just the word iPad, suggesting Apple won’t add an additional product name such as “Mini.”
A report by Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, which was picked up by Mac-centric blog AppleInsider, said production of the 7.85-inch display has caused headaches for suppliers, which include LG Display of South Korea and Taiwan’s AU Optronics. Both companies have allegedly begun production on the device’s LCD panel, but White said the yields on production have been frustrating, causing the release date to be pushed to October from September.