Before the hot-selling iPhone 5 launched into existence, most of the surprise had already been ruined. We saw parts, heard about launch dates, and even saw full-fledged photos of the device. So if that disappointed you as much as it did me, you might want to look away.
These leaked pictures certainly appear to be of a legitimate iPad mini. The design matches up well with what we’ve heard (and seen) so far — thinner bezels along the side, aluminum back plate, and some strange hole in the top center of the tablet’s backside.
You’ll notice an unfamiliar weather icon on the homescreen, which also appears on the images in this article, out of France. It’s a Chinese Weather app, which leads us to believe that this may indeed be a legitimate leak out of a Chinese factory.
A quick search for iPad mini cases on Alibaba brings up dozens of cases matching this design, including the mysterious hole in the back.
Oddly, there is no Clock app as we’ve seen on iOS 6. Google Maps and YouTube apps also seem to be on the homescreen of the tablet. Perhaps the owners got the device to run iOS 5, and have installed some third-party or prototype Weather app. Or, more likely, the screen isn’t live yet, and that’s just a mockup display.
You’ll also notice what appears to be a Lightning dock on the bottom, alongside dual speakers.
If real, the iPad mini must be right around the corner. We’ve posited, along with known Apple psychics like John Gruber and Jim Dalrymple, that Apple wouldn’t crowd the iPhone 5 and iPad mini into the same launch event. They deserve their own moments in the sun.
Considering that the company announced a bevy of music products at the iPhone 5 event (new iPods and a revamped iTunes), the usual October music event will be quite boring without a new product.