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'iPad Mini 5 case leak' may in fact be 2016 prototype

The iPad Mini 4 could be said to be in need of an update. (Source: ManilaShaker Philippines)
The iPad Mini 4 could be said to be in need of an update. (Source: ManilaShaker Philippines)
A case design purported to be associated with the upcoming iPad Mini 5 appeared to show that the tablet would have a dual camera and a headphone jack. This may have been an encouraging sign, as the iPad Mini line hasn't been upgraded since 2015. However, a subsequent comment on the matter from another leaker asserts that the case in the initial leak is in fact from 2016.

The latest generation of the iPad Mini (the 4) was released in 2015, which implies scope for speculation that the series is either sorely due an upgrade or is being abandoned by Apple. On the other hand, recent leaks have pointed to the release of a fifth generation in the very near future. The media outlet ITHome, citiing Chinese manufacturing sources, claims to have released a series of images of a case for the iPad Mini 5.

This clear plastic product suggests that the latest addition to this tablet series will not deviate hugely from the 4 in terms of basic footprint and device aspect-ratio. It also exhibits a range of ports along its top edge, including one for a headphone jack. The 'iPad Mini' case also has long cut-outs, possibly to match speaker grilles, on either side of a charging port found on the opposite end. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to say if this port would be of either the USB type C or Lightning variety. The back of the case also has a pill-shaped cut-out that could house a dual camera.

Therefore, these images have led to speculation that the iPad Mini 5 will be a slate with moderate spec upgrades to bring it up to date for 2019. However, a second leaker, OnLeaks, has responded to this leak by pointing out that the case is "based upon a 2016 prototype". Therefore, the 2019 iPad rumor mill may be back where it started all over again.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-12-26 (Update: 2018-12-26)