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iPad mini sample snapped, tips thinner tablet with new dock

Snaps of what is rumoured to be an engineering sample of the iPad mini have surfaced.

Snaps of what is rumoured to be an engineering sample of the iPad mini have surfaced, hinting at a smaller tablet that's significantly slimmer than the current Apple slate.

Gotta Be Mobile claims the photos come from 'a trusted source inside the Apple supply chain'. The blurry images show an orange plastic tablet, thought to be an engineering sample used in the iPad-crafting process.

Unsurprisingly there's not a huge amount to glean from a plastic orange rectangle, but the sample does hint that if the iPad mini exists, it will sport a smaller dock connector, similar to the new port reckoned to be strapped onto the iPhone 5's glossy rump.

iPad mini next to new iPad

Snaps of the luminous fake-slate alongside a third-generation iPad show it's roughly two-thirds the size of the current model, while a spot of pixel-counting suggests the mythical device could measure about 144mm wide, which would make it larger than the Google Nexus 7.

It also looks to be significantly slimmer than the existing model, which measures 9.4mm in girth. Gotta Be Mobile was also sent snaps reportedly showing an iPhone 5 production sample, which match the taller, slimmer and identically widthed casing that leaked at the end of May.

iPad mini thickness

Speculation regarding a miniature iPad has been doing the rounds since Apple first showed off its expensive tea-tray in 2010, but rumours are hotting up as we charge toward the autumn, and the launch of iOS 6 and a new iPhone. The Nexus 7 and Microsoft's Surface tablet have further fuelled speculation that Apple could unveil a smaller, cheaper version of its popular tablet.

Do you think Apple is likely to reveal an iPad mini? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: Gotta Be Mobile