As Speculation on iPhone 5 Design Concludes, It’s Just Beginning for the iPad Mini
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
In the days leading up to this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), rumors have begun to circulate about what the next iPhone could look like. If previous iPhone design trends continue to hold, this should be the year that the Apple smartphone gets another design overhaul (3G was different, 3GS wasn’t, 4 was different, 4S wasn’t).
The initially leaked images of the iPhone 5, however, showed back plates of a phone which looked largely similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S, minus the stainless steel bands.
In general, these early images have been viewed with some skepticism as photos like these are easily manufactured or photoshopped. And yet, every subsequently leaked image has shown the exact same shape and style; a 4-inch display along with a thick metal band on the back with thin glass headers and footers.
What began as speculation has solidified into expectation. As we head into the final hours before this phone is finally revealed, we more or less know exactly what it will look like – that is, barring the possibility of a wild-card move by Tim Cook and his crew.
Yet as this rumor cycle approaches its conclusion, another has begun to pick up steam ahead of a supposed October announcement. For all we know (or think we know) about the next iPhone, we know much less about the iPad “Mini.” We’ve got a screen size (reportedly 7.85 inches), but that’s about it. Internal components? A new retina display? Its price point? – All of these are largely mysteries at this point. As such, there’s plenty of speculation floating around.
Which isn’t a bad thing.
After all, in the rumor garden, speculation can often be the fertilizer that helps our thoughts and opinions form about unreleased devices. Of course, if this metaphor holds true to the end, an Apple announcement can be like a lawn mower, razing all our accumulated speculation to the dirt.
It’s important to remember we are largely in speculation mode when it comes to the iPad Mini. For instance, a French website released images today of a mockup which, for all we know, could resemble the iPad Mini about as closely as an 18-wheeler does a Prius.
First, the images show a mockup, a thing which by its definition implies a noncommittal attitude. This is what a future product ‘could’ look like, depending on several conditions and variables. Second, this mockup appears as if it could have been modeled after what a third-party case manufacturer has predicted this device will look like. In fact, the website claims that these pictures originated at the Chinese website Dgtle.com and say they aren’t sure whether this mockup is based on an actual supply-chain source or on something else entirely. Worst-case scenario – these images offer no helpful information other than showing what a 7.85-inch rectangle looks like in someone’s palm.
So, while there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy speculation, images of a mockup of a product that doesn’t yet exist in the marketplace can hardly be considered as credible.
It’s interesting, for sure, but at this point there are far too many qualifications to be made when speaking about the rumored iPad Mini. Overall, there are too many “Coulds” and “Shoulds” at this point to think that any kind of mockup represents the actual device.
That is, of course, unless Jony Ive is holding said mockup, beaming with pride and flashing a cheesy thumbs-up in approval.
And in the end, isn’t that what any of us want from life? To see Jony hamming for the camera, holding up unreleased Apple mockups for our enjoyment?