Plenty of iPhone 5 flotsam and jetsam is floating around the rumor mill, but where is all of the iPad mini junk? Now, some el cheap-o iPad Mini cases have surfaced. But does this really prove anything?
Ah yes, the iPad Mini. Much like the abominable snowman, chupacabra, or bigfoot, it has been long speculated on, sometimes sighted (as in within Cupertino’s secret labs), but at present, nothing has really been seen in the Apple rumor mill pipeline — until now.
According to Tapscape, a couple of el cheap-o polycarbonate plastic shell cases for the purported iPad Mini have surfaced out of China’s dollar-store manufacturing machine, along with the customary iPhone 5 cases that may — or very well may not — have anything to do with the iPhone 5 that Apple officially releases in 2012. Tapscape explains:
New iPad Mini photo leaks emerged this week which served to reconfirm collective agreement that a 7-inch Apple tablet launch is on the horizon. The iPad Mini is speculated to feature a 7-7.85 inch screen and may ship with a non-retina display in order to bring down the price to a level that is competitive with the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Those “photo leaks” of the iPad Mini, which were also commented on by 9to5Mac, are just about as sketchy as they come, which makes any synergy between those photos and these new cases tenuous at best.
Notwithstanding the fact that these two supposed iPad Mini cases are absolutely hideous, the cutouts and dimensions immediately inspire scrutiny. I won’t take all of the fun away from iPhone 5 News Blogcommentors, but Tapscape makes a few observations: “The iPad Mini case photos reveal circular openings for a rear-facing camera and a separate space for a rear-located mic. The bottom of the iPad Mini cases also have a space for the Mini Dock connector, which is widely expected to replace the current 30-pin connector in all future Apple iOS devices.”
The bottom of the clear case has an opening at the bottom, but it looks wide enough to accommodate a 500-pin dock connector. I have an old dot matrix printer in my attic — maybe I’ll go up there, salvage the serial cable connected to it, and plug it in to see if Apple is bringing back old school connectivity.
Tapscape does take these new el cheap-o cases in stride, however, adding:
Case manufacturers have a habit of prefabricating thousands of iPhone cases before the launch of a new model in hopes of being first-to-market. We saw a similar event in the lead-up to the release of the iPhone 4S – but none of the expected changes eventuated. There is a good chance that these iPhone 5 cases and iPad Mini case photos may just represent ambitious speculation based on existing rumors, but there is also a chance that they may in-fact be based on actual final-build models.
Aside from a very poor set of photos, there has been very few iPad Mini parts sightings — a bad sign that it will actually be co-released with the iPhone 5. Considering that the el cheap-o cases of 2011 were totally off-base, as were the dual release rumors of last year, it can be assumed that a report like this one not only fails to confirm the iPad Mini, but also makes the current iPhone 5 design look sketchy since, if this case manufacturer claims to have an inside track on the as-yet-unseen iPad Mini, how reliable is their information on the iPhone 5′s form factor?
By Michael Nace