Following this morning’s report from three credible sources providing new details about Apple’s iPad mini, French website Nowhereelse.fr has posted images (via MacRumors) of what is believed to be the first leaked part for the smaller iPad: A flex cable housing the dock connector, headphone jack, and home button connector.
Several interesting observations about the part include that it features the smaller dock connector that Apple is rumored to bring to future iOS devices, and also features a headphone jack that lines up with the bottom of the device, rather than the top, as with previous iPads.
Kyle Wiens of iFixit has weight in on the leaked photo, stating that it is very consistent with other Apple components, but he was unable to certify that the part is authentic (it’s virtually impossible until a part ends up in an actual product). The connector bears a strong resemblance to leaked next-gen iPhone parts, and carries a part number consistent with Apple’s naming scheme.
Also interesting is that the part stands in contrast to previous design drawings and other leaks, which tend to suggest that the headphone jack will be placed at the top of the device.
Apple’s rumored plans to release an iPad mini have been backed by a number of significant sources, including the highly accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, well-sourced Apple pundit John Gruber, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
The 7.85-inch iPad is rumored to be announced alongside the next-gen iPhone on September 12 for release sometime before the holiday shopping season, and is expected to sell for significantly cheaper than its larger counterpart – somewhere between $200 and $300 (1, 2). It’s also expected to feature a lightweight design as thin as an iPod touch, with much narrower bezel than the 10-inch iPad.