In many ways this is uncharted territory for Apple fans: anticipation for two mobile product launches in the same season. Sure Apple has released multiple things at once in the past, but this time they are hitting the same consumers quite specifically with both. Of course, this actually makes ‘launch season’ twice as exciting and has the rumor mill churning as fast as possible right now. The latest speculations surround the potential iPad Mini and what it might look like based on everything we’ve been able to guess at and suss out.
Various rumors and part leaks combined with the prototypes we have seen coming from accessory manufacturers contribute to the design ideas, all of which can be summarized by saying it should be a thinner design (about the same thickness as the current iPod Touch) and sport thinner side bezels on the top and bottom of the tablet.
While most case designs seen to date suggest that the headphone jack will be placed at the top of the device, these new concept pictures suggest that we will see the connector right next to the dock on the bottom of the unit. Which idea is superior? A poll on that decision may very see ‘6-of-1/half-dozen of the other’ style results –it is annoying to be watching a video on the iPad and have the cord from your headphone flopping in front of your screen but would be equally frustrating to try and accommodate using headphones with a bottom-mounted jack when you are using your tablet in a stand or stationary dock.
Like all other designs, the updated dock connector seems like a no-brainer –a change that will likely see a debut on the iPhone 5 which is expected to launch next week at the now-announced Apple event.
While it is fun to look, so many questions remain unanswered (not to mention the fact that we are still just assuming that there will be an iPad Mini in the first place): how much will it cost? will it be based on the internals of the iPad 2 (and does that mean we can’t have Siri or Retina displays on it)? just how light will it be? just how thin will it be? will they still manufacture the iPod Touch once the iPad Mini is released?
At a minimum, it gives us something to look forward to while we tap our toes after pre-ordering our new iPhones next week!