iDevice accessory manufacturers in Asia are said to have iPad mini cases and other add-ons sealed in boxes and ready for sale in anticipation of Apple’s announcement this month. The Cupertino giant has not confirmed any plans to release a smaller version of the iPad.
An analyst with Topeka Capital Markets - who makes it his job to check with Asian suppliers hoping to squeeze out any details that Apple generally keeps under tight wraps - has confirmed to AppleInsider that over 20 accessory manufacturers are ready to sell goods for the rumored iPad mini.
“Some of those already have the accessories boxed, labeled and ready for customers to order,” Brian White is quoted as saying.
Apple has yet to confirm the existence of the device, let alone the tablet’s exact dimensions. The accessory makers in Asia are likely to have obtained the official iPad mini blueprints illegaly.
According to other analysts’ reports, the iPad mini will be based off the iPad 2 with an A5 system-on-a-chip (SoC), 512MB of RAM, the usual storage capacities (ranging between 16GB and 64GB of NAND Flash), a non-Retina display with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels, Wi-Fi and cellular wireless, and the new docking specification introduced with the iPhone 5 - Lightning.
Various hardware leaks have indicated that Apple will continue to use anodized aluminum for the chassis, with plastic windows on the back for the cellular versions.
Other key technical details remain unknown, such as the battery type (and autonomy), the available cellular standards (3G, or 4G / LTE), or even if the tablet will actually offer cellular wireless at all.
The iPad mini is reportedly slated for an October 23 unveiling at Apple's Town Hall auditorium in Cupertino, California. The press invitations were expected to arrive on October 10, but now it looks like next week is a safer bet.