Despite what Steve Jobs once said about 7-inch tablets being “dead on arrival,” Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire and Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 7 have both proven that there is a booming market for smaller tablets and Apple (AAPL) is now expected to take the wraps off its own “iPad mini” table sometime in October. Previous leaks have suggested the iPad mini might come with a thinner bezel and at last week’s IFA electronics show in Berlin, Giga.de managed to snap a gallery of photos of what appears to be an iPad mini die cast mold.
Based on the reference mold, the iPad mini should be just a hair thinner than the iPhone 4S and should resemble a large iPod touch. Clear cut-outs for a front-facing FaceTime camera, smaller dock connector port and more prominently placed speakers are also visible.
Apple’s iPad mini is rumored to feature a 7.85-inch display that’s as sharp as the iPad 2’s 1024 x 768 resolution IPS screen (no Retina display) and is expected to launch by the end of the year.