A series of new reports have surfaced claiming to provide new details about Apple’s new smaller iPad. Details include that the device will be as thin as an iPod touch (much, much thinner than the current iPad), and have a very narrow side bezel.
The first of these reports comes to us from 9to5Mac:
We received a number of tips over the last few weeks from sources that we have reason to believe hold knowledge about Apple’s plans on the upcoming iPad mini. A recurring theme of late is that the iPad mini will “look like a big iPod touch” with smaller bezels along the sides in portrait mode and separate volume buttons and not a “rocker” and a mic on the back.
9to5Mac makes a number of apt observations about how such a device would be held, noting that it will encourage users to hold it more from the back due to the narrower side bezels, and that it’s intended to be held by the bezels in portrait orientation. They also note that it will be much easier to manage two-handed gaming on the device.
The site also notes that they believe the smaller iPad will feature a front camera, as well as a possible option for LTE.
iMore chimed in shortly afterward with a report of their own, commenting on the 9to5Mac report, and stating that their sources suggest that the information is accurate:
Based on several sources, I believe that design to be an accurate representation of what the iPad mini will look like. In addition, it’s my understanding that it will be the exact same thinness as the iPod touch, which is substantially thinner than the 9.7-inch iPad.
iMore also offers some keen comments on the design, noting that the screen size won’t be dramatically smaller compared to the 10-inch iPad, but the device as a whole will be far lighter and more portable than its larger counterpart, making it easier to toss in a bag or take on the go.
The site also makes specific note that the device will not function like a large iPod touch. Instead, Ritchie notes that “This is a full on iPad, just smaller and lighter.”
Last but not least, John Gruber posted some thoughts on Daring Fireball, suggesting that some of the leaked rear shell photos if the iPad mini may be genuine. He also backs up the idea of the narrow side bezels, and estimates that the device will be only slightly larger than Google’s Nexus 7, although its screen will be nearly a full inch larger diagonally.
Consensus among the sites suggests that the device will be available before the holiday shopping season, and that it will cost between 200-300 for a base model, making it much more appealing for users who found the iPad too expensive.
Three respected sites all stepping forward with claims about Apple’s smaller iPad is very intriguing indeed – it almost feels like a controlled leak. If Apple does indeed plan to ship an “iPad mini” before the holidays, we’ll all find out within the next couple of months!