Apple may have changed the iPad mini’s round shape design

Apple tomorrow is allegedly expected to invite select members of the press to an iPad mini-focused media event, likely to be held at some point next week. With part leaks, dummies, schematics, mockups, gorgeous renders and news of manufacturing ramp up all leaking on a daily basis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the iPad mini design has been set in stone weeks ago.

A new report by a reliable Japanese blog now claims Apple’s changed the iPad mini design and one “large OEM mobile accessory maker” had to throw cases it already made, likely based on same leaks and rumors we’ve been hearing about…

The Japanese blog Macotakara reported it has learned of an unnamed (and major) accessory maker who reportedly stopped production of iPad mini cases after realizing the design of the iPad mini has allegedly changed.

According to Chinese sources, you seem to have suspended production by a leading manufacturer engaged in OEM accessories Many accessories brand, has changed the shape of the iPad mini.

The shape of R on the side of the iPad mini that has changed, there is a possibility that the kind case that produced in the form of iPad mini that has been leaked is not available, seems to have paused to make sure of it.

If true, this means that iPad mini dummies and molds that are readily available for purchase in China have all been modeled after an outdated design.

Here is a close up of an iPad mini mockup, engineered and built around what we know so far (more here).

And here’s a video of it.

Could it be that this unnamed major case maker relied on the rumor-mill a little bit too much?

It wouldn’t be unheard of.

Just recall, if you will, how every major case maker out there scrambled to produce millions of teardrop-shaped cases because the rumors were calling for a teardrop-shaped iPhone 5 design.

But Apple doesn’t skate where the puck is so instead the company launched the iPhone 4S, featuring almost exactly the same glass and metal appearance as its predecessor, the iPhone 4.

It doesn’t come as a surprise then that some folks even do size comparisons using the iPad mini dummies.

AppleInsider weighed in, reminding us that the iPad mini designs prior to the mold with skinnier side bezels showed a device 13.5 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters tall and just 7.68 millimeters thick.

Here’s another iPad mini dummy, pictured next to a 15-inch MacBook Pro.

What do you make of this, guys?

Did case makers and people with too much time on their hands get it wrong again?

Why would Apple tweak the iPad mini’s design last minute?

I’d say either to make the device slicker than the iPad 3 or to appease to Asian suppliers, as building a smaller iPad is reportedly “no walk in the park”.