The iPhone is easily the most anticipated device to be arriving from Apple in the coming months, although the purported smaller iPad, or iPad Mini as it is being referred, is hot on its heels. The device, we are led to believe, will counter the smaller tablets cropping up in the tablet market, including the cheap-yet-powerful Google ASUS Nexus 7.
There have been plenty of supposed leaks of the device’s case and other significant form, and the general feeling seems to be that it’ll look something like a "big iPod touch." Considering the cynics and skeptics pointed at the original iPad as merely "a large iPhone without the phone part," the Cupertino company will have gone full-circle if the current consensus rings true. Also, contrary to many reports suggesting the smaller slate will include a bezel of constant thickness, it looks as though the bezel on each of the device will be significantly thinner, akin to the iPhone and iPod touch at present.
Also looking increasingly possible is the prospect of separate volume buttons, and although not too significant in the grand scheme of things, it’s better to try and paint a more accurate picture – particularly given the real lack of info we’ve managed to get so close to the alleged October / November release bracket.
The new information would make sense from a design point of view, and certainly offer the iPad Mini some key advantages over other similar slabs. Then again, holding the thing in portrait mode would mean you inadvertently touch the screen, so this is something Apple would need to take into consideration.
The leaks so far have shown no sign of a back camera, and we think the lack of a rear snapper will be a recurring theme on the smaller, cheaper devices. A front-facing camera will be essential for FaceTiming, and although the leaks have shown no hole for a camera, this could just be because it has yet to be drilled. Based on the iPod touch – and the reports around the next iPhone 5 – our better judgment tells us the front-facing camera to be central, although this is just speculation.
In terms of when it’ll arrive to market, things are still a little up in the air. Apple will have to be careful to separate it from the launch of the iPhone, and the limited number of hardware leaks up until now would seem to imply there’s a way to go before mass production.
Either way, if Apple can manage to push its mysterious device out sub-$300, we have a sneaking suspicion it will be curtains for the competition – even the quad-core Nexus 7.