Building upon a mid-August report calling for a smaller iPad with an iPod touch-thin profile and smaller bezels on the sides of the display, case makers have begun producing physical mockups of what they believe Apple’s rumored iPad mini might look like. Granted, case vendors have been wrong more often than right (hint: last year’s teardrop-shaped iPhone cases), but a pair of new mockups do align nicely with claimed iPad mini schematics and other tidbits circulating around the web lately…

Apple.pro points us to a listing on the online commerce website TaoBao (via 9to5Mac) that shows a mockup of a 7.85-inch iPad with the skinnier side bezels. The thing appears to match the details reported by iMore, 9to5Mac and Apple pundit John Gruber.

Specifically, the mockup, seen below, calls for the smaller bezels along the sides of the device in portrait mode. Also interesting, it depicts a smaller dock connector said to be deployed across upcoming iOS devices, as well as separate volume buttons and a mic on the back.

It also has an antenna cutout at the top of the device and another one for a SIM-card slot, suggesting that Apple will release both WiFi and cellular versions of the mini iPad.

Another mockup comes by way of the German website Giga.de, which discovered an interesting case model at the IFA show in Berlin, Germany and featuring an all-metal appearance.

The top image shows the mockup pictured next to an iPhone 4S, giving a good indication of the possible size of the iPad mini relative to the iPhone.

This particular mockup also features recesses for ambient light and camera sensors on the front side and above the display, right where you’d expect them.

Additional images available at the source link reveal a SIM card tray slot on the left side, a headphone jack, a microphone, the power button, a pair of speaker grills at the bottom and a smaller dock connector.

The meticulously crafted prototype appears to be a little bit skinnier than an iPhone 4S.

As part of Apple’s fall transition, the iPad mini is expected to be announced at an October media event, separate of the likely September 12 unveiling of a sixth-generation iPhone.

What do you guys think?

Are these just elaborate hoaxes or the best guesstimate of the iPad mini’s design we’ve seen to date?

  • No more Obama

    Ziberg ..we thought you didn’t like us anymore and left us

  • I think the Samsung Galaxy 7 will get a “whole new design” after seeing this mockup.

    • Maarten Dekkers

      Yes, it seems they always have a “new” design…

  • macboy74

    If Apple were to even release a tablet at 7″ it may look like this but have a little thicker bezel around it.

  • If it looks like that I’ll take it ..

  • Random dude

    Actually, samsung could copy these prototypes and release their own version before the official apple release which does not infringe any rights.

    • Samsung already did that but with one Apple fan made prototype that look like the Galaxy Note and everybody thought that was a REAL apple design… But Apple is not that dumb, before they do something, they patent the design before releasing the mockups to manufactures.. just to avoid (or try) copy-caters like Samsung. But that is a good example how Samsung, as a manufacture can take advantage from the leaks and try to convince the world that they were the first…

  • Dlevi309

    I don’t Think apple will go down that lane

  • I think the iPad mini, (if it exists) wouldn’t have such skinny sides by the screen. You would accidentally touch it just by holding it.
    Pictures might just be weird though, I’m quite curious to see what apple comes up with.