iPad mini cases revealed ahead of 7-inch Apple tablet unveiling

With an October iPad mini release date tipped following the 7-inch Apple tablet’s failure to land alongside the recently unveiled iPhone 5, new iPad mini cases have been shown off with a mysterious second hole on the device’s rear.

On show at the CU Exposed tech convention in London yesterday, Australian case and accessory manufacturer Toffee revealed its first iPad mini case prototypes suggesting it expected to see Apple’s first sub-sized tablet ‘soon’.

Although Apple has yet to offer any official word on a potential iPad mini release date, the newly outed cases follow a recent flurry of iPad mini rumours and leaks that have seen a selection of claimed iPad mini pictures leaked across the web.

Widely expected to boast a 7.85-inch display, further iPad mini specs have been tipped to see the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 rival sport the same Lightning port dock connector as the newly reviewed iPhone 5 and 2012 edition iPod Touch, as well as a brushed aluminium form factor similar to that of the current, 9.7-inch, Apple iPad 3.

Still a prototype product, the new Toffee iPad mini cases feature a second cut-out on the device’s rear panel, more centralised that the tablet’s integrated camera. Whilst it is currently unclear what this new centrally located feature could be, latest reports have suggested that the feature, which is clearly visible on recently leaked iPad mini photos, could be anything from an LED flash for the snapper to an IR emitter, via a pinhole microphone.

“These are prototypes but we’re expecting the iPad mini soon and we want to show people that we’re ready to go as soon as it’s announced,” Toffee executive Natasha Sullivan told tech blog PocketLint. Discussing the potential for Apple’s next tablet based iDevice Sullivan added: “We really think that the iPad mini is going to be something that women will love. The new iPad is too big to fit in most handbags but the smaller size will be perfect.”

Originally believed to be heading for unveiling alongside the iPhone 5 release date announcement, latest reports have suggested the iPad mini launch will be held during a separate, dedicated event this October with an iPad mini release date to take place in the weeks that follow as Apple looks to capitalise on the upcoming Christmas rush.

Widely expected to run the WWDC unveiled iOS 6 operating system, the iPad mini will seeming go against Apple’s distaste for 7-inch tablet’s with a compact form factor seeing the device play host to a more reserved array of specs and a competitive price tag.

Would you be tempted by an iPad mini release or are you happy to stick with Apple’s new 4-inch phone and 9.7-inch full-sized tablet? Let us know via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or the comment boxes below.

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