One place you’re always to see iPad and iPhone 5 prototypes or “official” mockups is at accessory trade shows. Before the iPad 2 was released last year, plenty of case manufacturers (mostly from China) were showing off their cases already made to fit the unreleased product. It appears as though the same has happened at this year’s Berlin IFA show. The long-rumored iPad mini has been mocked up in the form of some milled steel. The gallery of images showed up on Giga.de, a German tech site.
The lump of metal contains a lot of what we’ve been hearing about for some time, and is compared to an iPhone 4S for perspective. Below the display is the iconic home button, and on the lower edge we have the new dock connector flanked by some machined grille holes. If genuine, it could point to either stereo speakers or a re-positioned microphone. The current iPad and both previous models have the microphone placed at the top edge, right in the center (the model, oddly, shows a dent where that would be). If this comparison is to be believed, the smaller iPad could be slimmer than the iPhone 4S.
Personally, I’m not convinced that Apple will release a smaller iPad this year. But, all “evidence” shows that the company is at least working on it behind the scenes. Do you actually want to see a 7.85″ iPad? Or is the current size perfect?