updated 12:28 pm EDT, Fri August 24, 2012
Accessories built based on rumors, may be inaccurate
Despite the lack of any formal announcement from Apple, a handful of overseas manufacturers have once again jumped the gun and developed accessory cases designed to fit the so-called "iPad mini" said to be announced sometime next month. The case designs indicate the presence of a rear-facing camera, but also have a "mystery" opening that could be for a second microphone.
AppleInsider found pictures late last week on a Chinese web site that show a space for a camera on the back of the rumored device in the same place proportionally as is found on the existing iPad 2 and 2012 iPad. Also included in the case design is a small hole centered on the rear of the case, which could suggest a rear-facing microphone that would be used for noise cancellation purposes during FaceTime calls or for picking up better audio when the iPad is used to record video using the rear camera.
The designs of the cases may be based on actual engineering samples or other legitimate information, but could also easily be based simply on existing rumors around the product, which some believe will launch in October following the rollout of the next iPhone model, expected in mid-September. Accessory makers without access to official information have been known to produce cases based on speculation that turned out to be for products that didn't exist, such as what happened before the iPhone 4S was announced.
Allegedly official engineering samples of the smaller iPad model, which has also been rumored to be a more specialized device more closely related to the iPod Touch in style or function than the iPad, were leaked online last month but did not include the hole for a possible second microphone. Apple is thought to be planning separate announcements for both the next iPhone and the "iPad mini," but both are expected to be available in time for the holiday buying season. [via AppleInsider]