Apple iPad tabletA short while ago, I wrote a post that rounded up the rumors surrounding Apple iPhone 5. The new smartphone would follow in the footsteps of the current iPhone 4S and improve upon it in just about every way. Rumors of an iPad mini have been around since the beginning, but now it looks like the smaller iPad could finally be making its debut soon.

No one at Apple is going to officially confirm or deny any of the rumors surrounding this new product prior to its official unveiling, but the rumor mills are congregating on a few core facts. Here is what we think we know about the upcoming iPad mini.

A Smaller, Non-Retina Display

The first part of that seems obvious enough, since the iPad mini has to be, well, mini. While it is being referred to as as 7-inch iPad, the iPad mini is much more likely to get a 7.85-inch display that maintains the same 4:3 aspect ratio as its bigger brother. However, it will not get a Retina Display, instead getting around the same pixel density as the iPad 2.

A Lower Price Point

Why now? Why would Apple finally come out with a cheaper version of the iPad now? It looks like the launch of the iPad mini is spurred on by the increasing popularity of the Amazon Kindle Fire and, more recently, the Google Nexus 7. There’s also the 7-inch Galaxy Tab from Samsung. All of these have brought the tablet price down to the $199 range. To compete in this arena, the iPad mini is expected to start at $249 or $299.

Upgraded to iOS 6

The new iPhone (it’s up to you if you still want to call it the iPhone 5) is likely going to debut with iOS 6 this fall, so it only makes sense that the iPad mini do the same. There are several updates and upgrades over the current iOS 5, like a new Maps app and enhanced Siri functionality.

Apple iPad and iPad Mini Tablets

iPad and iPad mini (Image: absinthejailbreak.com)

Integrated Digital Camera

There’s no rear-facing camera on the Google Nexus 7, but I find it unlikely that Apple will cut the same corner to save costs. There’s a camera on the iPod touch, the iPhone and the full-sized new iPad, so it wouldn’t make sense for the iPad mini to skip on this picture-taking capability.

As Thin as the iPod Touch

Apple has been working on a few different technologies to shave precious millimeters off the profile of its iDevices and the iPad mini will likely enjoy the fruits of that labor. The “iPad 3” is slightly thicker than the iPad 2, but the iPad mini should come in at around the same thickness as the current iPod touch.

A Smaller Dock Connector like iPhone 5

The current generation of iDevices uses the same 30-pin connector that all of their predecessors did, but that could be changing. The rumor for the next iPhone is that there is a new 9-pin dock connector and that this new standard should also make its way to the iPad mini. There will likely be adapters available so you can still use your old 30-pin accessories and docking stations.

iPad Mini Unveiling Next Month

The current rumors say that the new iPhone will be revealed at an Apple event on September 12. It would be unlikely that Apple would host two major events within a couple months of each other, so the iPad mini reveal should happen at the same time. There may be a new iPod lineup refresh too, including new versions of the iPod nano and iPod touch.

Given this, it’s probably in your best interest to hold off on buying any iDevice in the next month or so. Even if you’re not interested in the newest iPod or the iPhone 5, you can probably get a better deal on Apple Refurbished products and older stock after the new stuff has hit the spotlight.

Are you interested in an iPad mini? Why or why not?

Image credit: yto / Flickr

###