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Apple iPad Mini – latest news, rumours and release date

With all tech world talk currently focused on the Apple iPhone 5, it can be easy to forget that we are due to see a new iPad released at the same time.

The iPad Mini has been sitting firmly on the rumour mill for several years now, with the speculation never coming to fruition. But this time around there is a little more weight to the rumours.

With the Kindle Fire performing consistently well throughout this year, and the Nexus 7 from Google receiving a great reception upon its release recently, Apple is in danger of falling behind.

Not a manufacturer that’s used to missing out on a new market, Apple will be keen to enter the 7-inch tablet arena with a device that’s sure to go down a storm.

A dual launch in September with the iPhone 5 is possibly on the cards for the iPad Mini, and the rumours are starting to build. So what do we know so far?

No camera for Apple iPad Mini

We don’t know for sure whether the 7.85-inch tablet exists at all, but if the apparent leaks of late are anything to go by then the iPad Mini will be an interesting new direction for Apple.

A leak that came to light earlier this week appeared to indicate that the low-cost tablet will come without a rear-facing camera (see image below).

With the seven-inch tablet market very much a low-cost arena, Apple may be trying to keep costs down as much as possible by removing the camera.

Having said that, more images of what is claimed to be the iPad Mini’s casing have started doing the rounds. These ones show a hole for a rear-facing camera, although no space for an LED flash.

Apple iPad Mini had Jobs’ approval

Legendary Apple boss, the late Steve Jobs, made no secret of the fact that he didn’t like the idea of a smaller tablet – which could explain why all those rumours in the past never came to anything.

However, new information has emerged at the Apple and Samsung court case in the US that Jobs was beginning to come round to the iPad Mini.

In emails submitted in court, Apple Vice-President Eddy Cue wrote how Jobs had become ‘very receptive’ the idea of a seven-inch tablet market.

Apple iPad Mini could struggle

Even with an endorsement from Steve Jobs, there’s no guarantee that the iPad Mini will be a success – especially if the results of a recent survey are anything to go by.

Research by a US coupon website found that 78% of consumers would shun the iPad Mini in favour of an iPhone 5, while 46% feel the scaled-down tablet will be ‘pointless’.

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