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Apple 'iPad mini' could resemble, be as thin as iPod touch

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
A litany of photos of alleged "iPad mini" parts have surfaced online, prompting some to create mockups of a thinner, iPod touch-inspired device which insiders claim are close to what Apple is expected to release sometime this fall.

While rumors of a 7-inch iPad have been swirling for months, there have been precious few parts leaks associated with the device as much of the attention has gone to Apple's upcoming next-gen iPhone. That has recently changed, however, and pundits are piecing together the fresh information to speculate as to what the purported tablet may look like.

On Tuesday, iMore offered a mockup of the rumored "iPad mini," which the publication claims is accurate based on reports from several sources. According to the insiders, the device will share the same depth as the current iPod touch which, at 7.2mm, is substantially thinner than the third-generation 9.7-inch iPad.

As for the 7-inch iPad's appearance, iMore notes the design changes aren't meant to compromise usability, but instead enhance one-handed operation thanks to the unit's thin-and-light profile. Perhaps one of the most prominent features in the mockup is the extremely thin bezel seen around the screen when holding the unit in portrait orientation. This feature is supposedly the result of making the device thinner and lighter, and is consistent with the design of the iPod touch.

iPad mini Mockup
Mockup of alleged "iPad mini." | Source: iMore


Daring Fireball's John Gruber agrees that the purported changes are in line with Apple's design ethos, saying each product is built to serve a different purpose. For example, the iPod touch doesn't require the same thick bezel seen on the iPad because a user doesn't have the same need to rest their thumbs during normal use.

Also agreed upon is the tablet's light weight, which has prompted some to call the device the "iPad Air." Gruber rationalizes the unit's lack of heft may be what Apple will tout as one of the device's main features. Backing up the claim is an expected low resolution screen, which may use the same technology as the iPhone 3GS. Some have speculated the move to a non-Retina display panel is a cost saving measure to get the tablet's price down within the $200 to $250 range, but Gruber contends that Apple is saving weight by using a screen based on legacy technology. He offers the example of the current third-generation iPad with Retina display, a unit that grew in size compared to its predecessor, mostly due to the larger battery needed to power the high-resolution display.

Comparison Mockup
Mockup comparing sizes of iPads, Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire. | Source: iMore


From Gruber's estimations in relation to Google's Nexus 7:

The iPad Mini, based on my best guess hunch dimensions of 200 ? 135 x 7.2 mm = 193,680 cubic mm. Divide and you get 78 percent. The Nexus 7 weighs 340 grams, so, let?s guess that the iPad Mini will weigh just 265 grams.

For comparison, the WiFi-only iPad (3) weighs 652 grams, and the Amazon Kindle 3G with keyboard weighs about 247 grams. So a sub-300-gram smaller iPad would be pretty light.



Gruber goes on to analyze the physical aspect ratios of Apple iDevices, not just the screen, coming to the conclusion that the rumored smaller iPad may fall somewhere between the current iPad and the iPod touch. Also, the device should have rounded corners much like Apple's original iPhone.

The speculation derives most of its information from a number of purported parts leaks, the first being a somewhat suspect photo of a smaller iPad's back housing. The part, published by Chinese site Apple.pro, appears to depict a version of Apple's tablet with an aspect ratio seemingly close to what Gruber described. Although the picture is not of the highest quality, the internal structural elements as well as the piece's rounded corners are clearly visible.

iPad mini Shell
Purported back casing. | Source: Apple.pro


A few higher quality photos of another shell were posted by ZooGue, and show the same basic part except for a gap in the top of the casing assumedly meant to house the plastic insert found in 3G wireless-capable iPad models. Also noticeable is a hole for what looks to be a rear-facing camera, prompting speculation that Apple may be including higher-end features for certain versions of the device.

Wireless Shell
Source: ZooGue


Most recently, French site Nowhereelse.fr posted images of a purported iPad mini flex cable, showing what appears to be the smaller dock connector pictured just days ago. Apple is expected to move from the current 30-pin version to a compact 9-pin solution.

iPad mini Connector
Alleged "iPad mini" flex cable dock connector. | Source: Nowhereelse.fr


In a related development, Gizmodo on Wednesday released an image of an alleged iPad mini screen received from a tipster. While the part measures 7.85 inches diagonally, it does not share the 9.75-inch iPad's 4:3 aspect ratio. The site ran the photos by iFixit, which said there wasn't enough information to make a conclusive assessment.

Screen
Unverified 7.85-inch screen said to be bound for smaller iPad. | Source: Gizmodo


A previous AppleInsider report noted that analyst Ming Chi-Kuo estimates Apple will release the 7-inch iPad sometime after the launch of the next-generation iPhone, which is widely expected to be unveiled at an as-yet-unannounced Sept. 12 special event. Current rumblings have it that Apple will initiate a pre-order round for the sixth-generation iPhone the day it is debuted, with U.S. shipments to begin on Sept. 21.
post #2 of 61
Every mockup gets better and better.

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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post #3 of 61

Where would you put your thumb if you're holding it with one hand in portrait mode?

LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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post #4 of 61
i'll believe it when i see it
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post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

Where would you put your thumb if you're holding it with one hand in portrait mode?

That's the rub. It has to be small and light enough to allow that kind of operation. The benefit of trusting in Apple over Acer, Asus, Samsung, Dell, HP, etc. is that usability is a primary concern so if they do go with the small side bezel then we can be certain that Apple has tested this design extensively to see if it works. Would about half the iPad's weight, a little more than double the iPhone's weight be light enough for this usage? Would the proposed size for a 7.85" display (163 PPI) still be small enough? I don't know but I have a feeling Apple knows.

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post #6 of 61
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post
Where would you put your thumb if you're holding it with one hand in portrait mode?

 

Right on the screen. And then a full inch of the edge of the screen is designed to be off all the time so that it doesn't "accidentally register" presses.

 

😆

post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


That's the rub. It has to be small and light enough to allow that kind of operation. The benefit of trusting in Apple over Acer, Asus, Samsung, Dell, HP, etc. is that usability is a primary concern so if they do go with the small side bezel then we can be certain that Apple has tested this design extensively to see if it works. Would about half the iPad's weight, a little more than double the iPhone's weight be light enough for this usage? Would the proposed size for a 7.85" display (163 PPI) still be small enough? I don't know but I have a feeling Apple knows.

 

Yeah, the weight should be fine, but with phones (even those huge Galaxy Notes), you can wrap your whole hand around it to keep it secure without having to put your thumb over the side bezel. I would think it would be difficult to wrap your whole hand comfortably around a tablet with a 7.85" screen.

LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Right on the screen. And then a full inch of the edge of the screen is designed to be off all the time so that it doesn't "accidentally register" presses.

 

😆

Like the "virtual bezel" idea I threw around a while back?

LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

Where would you put your thumb if you're holding it with one hand in portrait mode?

 

The theory would be that in portrait mode it would be narrow enough that your palm and fingers would reach far enough across the bottom of the device to support it without having to latch your thumb around the front to keep it from flipping out of your hand. And if one-handed operation is truly the goal, then the thin bezel would be needed. Otherwise the thumb of the same hand that's holding it might not be able to reach over the screen far enough to operate it.

post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

Yeah, the weight should be fine, but with phones (even those huge Galaxy Notes), you can wrap your whole hand around it to keep it secure without having to put your thumb over the side bezel. I would think it would be difficult to wrap your whole hand comfortably around a tablet with a 7.85" screen.

There is a lot of middle ground between wrapping your home hand around a device and having your thumb completely on the front of the device to support it. I've used touchscreen Kindles, which you can't wrap your hand around, I don't foresee a problem if they can get the specs in the right space.

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post #11 of 61
I still say it resembles an iPod touch because it is an iPod touch

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #12 of 61

Wait a minute. $200 to $250? Assuming this is US pricing, let's look at the pricing of the iPod Touch. It's priced at $199 for an 8GB model, $299 for the 32GB version and $399 for the 64GB version.

 

If Apple releases a tablet priced identically to the current Touch, it would have to be the replacement for the Touch, not an entirely new size option. 

 

If one assumes that for a larger tablet, 8GB is not going to cut it, there would have to be at minimum a 16GB starter version of this tablet. So an 8GB Touch checks in at $199 yet Apple is supposed to deliver a 16GB 7-inch tablet for between $200 and $250? Wow. 

 

The math is way off here. It just doesn't add up. 

post #13 of 61

"Gruber goes on to analyze the physical aspect ratios of Apple iDevices, not just the screen, coming to the conclusion that the rumored smaller iPad may fall somewhere between the current iPad and the iPod touch. Also, the device should have rounded corners much like Apple's original iPhone."

 

This smaller iPad MAY fall somewhere between the ipad and ipod touch??  Way to go out on a limb there.  lol.gif

post #14 of 61

I'm sticking with my original prediction: This replaces the iPod touch at $199. The iPod touch has been promoted primarily as a gaming device and an iPad mini makes more sense there. There will be a larger touchscreen iPod nano for people who want an mp3 player. I don't think it makes sense to keep the iPod touch around when you have this iPad mini.

post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Right on the screen. And then a full inch of the edge of the screen is designed to be off all the time so that it doesn't "accidentally register" presses.

 

😆

 

I am glad you changed your mind after calling me crazy here:

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/143184/pictured-sharp-lcd-panel-claimed-to-be-retina-display-for-apples-ipad-3#post_2041305

post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

Like the "virtual bezel" idea I threw around a while back?

 

Sorry dude, I was way ahead of you here :)

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/143184/pictured-sharp-lcd-panel-claimed-to-be-retina-display-for-apples-ipad-3#post_2041296

post #17 of 61

If the "iPad mini" resembles, or is as thin as the iPod touch, it will look better than whatever is out there that the competitors and copycats have.

And, if Apple sells such product between $200 and $250, count me in, I will purchase one.

post #18 of 61

Even if he turns out to be wrong, the analysis by Gruber is a masterpiece and shows why he is the king of Apple bloggers.
 

post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

I am glad you changed your mind after calling me crazy here:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/143184/pictured-sharp-lcd-panel-claimed-to-be-retina-display-for-apples-ipad-3#post_2041305

Um, this is what you wrote: "Well, I was hoping for an edge-to-edge display in a bezelless and buttonless design, with the virtual bezel switchable on and off, and the home button replaced with gestures." Edge-to-edge in 2012 and a buttonless design, and using gestures instead of pressing the Home Button are not feasible. On top of that it appears you're talking about the 10" iPad, not a tablet that is small and light enough to be used one-handed without a firm grip to pinch the device between the thumb and palm.

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post #20 of 61
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post
I am glad you changed your mind after calling me crazy here:

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/143184/pictured-sharp-lcd-panel-claimed-to-be-retina-display-for-apples-ipad-3#post_2041305

 

That's not me changing my mind, that's me scorning the idea entirely.

 

lol.gif <——— I can only use that one so much before I get emoticon-crazy and move to proper emoji.

post #21 of 61

Let's hope it's a little tougher than the Touch.  My kids are 4/4 when if comes to breaking the screen.

post #22 of 61
Quote:

Haha, as long as you don't sue for patent violations, we're good.

LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Um, this is what you wrote: "Well, I was hoping for an edge-to-edge display in a bezelless and buttonless design, with the virtual bezel switchable on and off, and the home button replaced with gestures." Edge-to-edge in 2012 and a buttonless design, and using gestures instead of pressing the Home Button are not feasible. On top of that it appears you're talking about the 10" iPad, not a tablet that is small and light enough to be used one-handed without a firm grip to pinch the device between the thumb and palm.

 

Yes I was talking about 10" iPad but I do not see how it matters differently. Of course, both the mini and the full iPad would benefit from thin physical and soft virtual bezel.

post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I still say it resembles an iPod touch because it is an iPod touch

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I'm sticking with my original prediction: This replaces the iPod touch at $199. The iPod touch has been promoted primarily as a gaming device and an iPad mini makes more sense there. There will be a larger touchscreen iPod nano for people who want an mp3 player. I don't think it makes sense to keep the iPod touch around when you have this iPad mini.

This.

 

This is probably an iPod Touch or all new model that replaces the Touch.

 

Not sure if it will be marketed or branded as an "iPad Mini" and most of the photos floating around show what looks like a 3:2 screen ratio.

post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Um, this is what you wrote: "Well, I was hoping for an edge-to-edge display in a bezelless and buttonless design, with the virtual bezel switchable on and off, and the home button replaced with gestures." Edge-to-edge in 2012 and a buttonless design, and using gestures instead of pressing the Home Button are not feasible. On top of that it appears you're talking about the 10" iPad, not a tablet that is small and light enough to be used one-handed without a firm grip to pinch the device between the thumb and palm.

So what are we talking about for the actual outside dimensions of this thing? Hands come in lots of different sizes so it will be too big for some and too small for others. I really don't think even with my larger than average hands that I would be using it single handed. Heck, I don't even use my iPhone with just one hand very often, except to redial a recent call or a favorite.

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post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I'm sticking with my original prediction: This replaces the iPod touch at $199. The iPod touch has been promoted primarily as a gaming device and an iPad mini makes more sense there. There will be a larger touchscreen iPod nano for people who want an mp3 player. I don't think it makes sense to keep the iPod touch around when you have this iPad mini.

I see a lot of teens with a Touch that they keep in their pocket while listening to music. They probably have some other cheap phone. This new iPad mini size is not going to be pocketable in the same sense. Should it really be considered a replacement for a Touch? I'm hoping that the new device will have a cellular data (no voice) option.

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post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

Where would you put your thumb if you're holding it with one hand in portrait mode?

 

There's a full centimetre bezel even on the side of the thing.  

People with fumbly hands, gigantic fat fingers and no manual dexterity will continue to buy the regular iPad.  

post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

So what are we talking about for the actual outside dimensions of this thing? Hands come in lots of different sizes so it will be too big for some and too small for others. I really don't think even with my larger than average hands that I would be using it single handed. Heck, I don't even use my iPhone with just one hand very often, except to redial a recent call or a favorite.

 

People are different indeed.  I never use two hands on the phone except to thumb type, and I use my iPad 3 one-handed all the time (although that sucker is indeed quite heavy).   

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I see a lot of teens with a Touch that they keep in their pocket while listening to music. They probably have some other cheap phone. This new iPad mini size is not going to be pocketable in the same sense. Should it really be considered a replacement for a Touch? I'm hoping that the new device will have a cellular data (no voice) option.

 

When I say it replaces the iPod touch I just mean it'll be $199 and there will no longer be an "iPhone without the phone" device. Instead there'll be a smaller iPad for gaming/e-reader/etc (probably with a cellular data option) and a larger iPod nano as a dedicated media player (no App Store). Obviously this isn't going to cover every usage scenario, but neither does the existing range of products. Right now I think the iPod touch isn't really a compelling device. I think it's struggling to define itself. Is an "iPhone without the phone" device that you can carry along with a cheap prepaid phone really something Apple wants? Or would they rather have that price point filled by a lighter, smaller version of their most dynamic product?

post #30 of 61

So is it an iPad Mini or an iPod Max? This is confusing!

post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I don't know but I have a feeling Apple knows.

Really? You don't say! (Couldn't resist).
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

Even if he turns out to be wrong, the analysis by Gruber is a masterpiece and shows why he is the king of Apple bloggers.
 

Agreed. 

post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

 

When I say it replaces the iPod touch I just mean it'll be $199 and there will no longer be an "iPhone without the phone" device. Instead there'll be a smaller iPad for gaming/e-reader/etc (probably with a cellular data option) and a larger iPod nano as a dedicated media player (no App Store). Obviously this isn't going to cover every usage scenario, but neither does the existing range of products. Right now I think the iPod touch isn't really a compelling device. I think it's struggling to define itself. Is an "iPhone without the phone" device that you can carry along with a cheap prepaid phone really something Apple wants? Or would they rather have that price point filled by a lighter, smaller version of their most dynamic product?

Even so I wouldn't be surprised if Apple keeps the current Touch around another year but priced lower, just to keep iPod marketshare high.

post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

 

When I say it replaces the iPod touch I just mean it'll be $199 and there will no longer be an "iPhone without the phone" device. Instead there'll be a smaller iPad for gaming/e-reader/etc (probably with a cellular data option) and a larger iPod nano as a dedicated media player (no App Store). Obviously this isn't going to cover every usage scenario, but neither does the existing range of products. Right now I think the iPod touch isn't really a compelling device. I think it's struggling to define itself. Is an "iPhone without the phone" device that you can carry along with a cheap prepaid phone really something Apple wants? Or would they rather have that price point filled by a lighter, smaller version of their most dynamic product?

 

I am not sure what is going to happen but I doubt this scenario.  

 

iPods are for music and gaming and the iPod touch, while not as popular as the flagship iOS devices has a dedicated following.  The iPad mini is a different form factor altogether and runs a different version of the OS.  The focus for iPads is on productive work, not gaming and music.  I don't see that the presence of the mini iPad means that the iPod touch will necessarily go away at all.  If they wanted to make a device to replace the current iPod touch, why wouldn't they stick with 16:9 like the new iPhone and the smaller, more pocketable size?  

 

It's not like Apple to take a product off the market and replace it with another product that can't actually fully replace it.  Additionally, the flex cable shown above is more likely to be from a future iPod touch than a future iPad mini IMO.  It has the audio jack on the bottom, and far closer to the dock connector than it would need to be if it was for the iPad mini.  To me that signals that it's for a smaller device.  All the other schematics and all the other leaks for the iPad mini have the audio jack on the top, and most have speaker grilles right where this headphone jack would be also.  

post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

If the "iPad mini" resembles, or is as thin as the iPod touch, it will look better than whatever is out there that the competitors and copycats have.
And, if Apple sells such product between $200 and $250, count me in, I will purchase one.

Hmmm...

Expect a "natural evolution" clone from Samsung to come out shortly after.
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post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewan View Post

So is it an iPad Mini or an iPod Max? This is confusing!


It will be the iPad Air.

post #37 of 61

It would be so Apple if true and totally blow Samsung and everybody else out of the water....I went to OfficeMax and held a ~7" Nook...what a piece of "plasticky" crap! 

 

 

I often thought I would love the iPhone to be as thin as the iPod Touch (yes, I understand the complexities of chips and battery). I even considered getting an iPod Touch and a dumb phone, just so I didn't have to give more $'s than necessary to ATT. Ugh.

 

But, then I would have to carry two items. So just stuck with the iPhone and dumped said ATT, for Sprint! :)

 

Best.

 

P.S. I love Apple and absolutely detest ATT, Verizon, Cox Cable, MS, Google, RIM, HP (ink), Dell, Samsung, Sony, etc. They are all just trying to rip us off. Apple, on the other hand, provides great value! :) 

 

P.S.S. I wish Apple would just buy a SatTV company and Sprint and take it to the cable companies, Movie and TV companies and especially the Cell companies!!!!!!!


Edited by christopher126 - 8/15/12 at 7:30pm
post #38 of 61
Sorry but this doesn't look as thin as an iPod Touch.

12.08.15-Shell-2.jpg
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

If the "iPad mini" resembles, or is as thin as the iPod touch, it will look better than whatever is out there that the competitors and copycats have.

And, if Apple sells such product between $200 and $250, count me in, I will purchase one.

Bingo! Well said! And me, too! :)

post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post
i'll believe it when i see it
 
 

No. You won't.

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