Apple ‘iPad mini’ to look more like iPod Touch, report says

Speculation over the iPhone may be plenty to keep some Apple fans in a tizzy. But there’s a chance — a good one, analysts say — that the new iPhone could launch alongside another new device with the potential to steal the show.

I’m talking, of course, about a smaller iPad. Apple is widely expected to be at least working on a cheaper, smaller version of its market-leading tablet, and there’s some speculation that the device will hit the market this fall.

There are a couple of theories about what the tablet may look like. 9 to 5 Mac reported that the smaller version of the iPad is reportedly going to look more like a large iPod Touch than a small iPad. Citing unnamed sources, the blog said the smaller iPad will have a small bezel, sport separate buttons for volume control instead of a rocker and will have a microphone on the back.

Seth Weintraub of 9 to 5 Mac added that he believes the mini iPad will have a front camera for video conferencing but notes that not all of the mockups circulating around the Web include a rear-facing camera.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, also had another interesting line of thought about the tablet.

“I’m thinking the iPad Mini will be not just thinner and lighter” than the iPad, he wrote, but also thinner and lighter than other small tablets on the market. “Maybe iPad Mini is the wrong name for us to use as a placeholder,” he continued in a footnote on his extensive post on the subject. “It’s not about being smaller — it’s about being thinner and lighter. iPad Air?”

For what it’s worth, Gruber also predicts that thee new tablet will have “more of an iPhone-esque ‘forehead and chin’ bezel surrounding the display” with thinner framing on the sides.

Related stories:

Is market ripe for a iPad mini?

The Apple-Samsung case: Five juicy tidbits

Microsoft tablet partners announced amid rumors of $199 Surface

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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