Photo shows rear casing of the iPad mini, most likely an earlier prototype

New photo leaks show what could possibly be the rear casing for the upcoming iPad mini that is rumored to make an appearance sometime this fall. The photos, posted on Tech 163 show a casing simliar to what we see now on the iPad 2 and the new iPad except for a smaller form factor and a few changes.

The most noticeable difference will be the size as the iPad mini is rumored to have a 7.85 inch screen, which is a little less than 2 inches smaller than its predecessors. Other changes include the expected micro dock connector along the bottom.

Another difference is the location of the speaker opening. The current iPad and iPad 2 do not have openings along both sides for speakers, only the right. The opening is also on a curve upwards more towards the back on current iterations of the iPad. I'm not sure Apple would move the speakers completely to the bottom of the assembly due to noise interference depending on how you're holding the iPad.

ipad mini rear casing inside

Around the top of the assembly you can see spaces for where the cellular antenna assembly would sit on either side of the front-facing FaceTime camera. There are also grooves in each side similar to what we are already familiar with in current models.

The last thing worth looking at in these photos is the overall thickness of the casing. While it could simply be the angle the pictures were taken, it looks quite a bit thicker than the iPad 2 and even the current generation iPad.

This is contrary to what we have heard here at iMore regarding what the iPad mini will most likely look like. Our sources state that not only should the iPad mini be smaller, but thinner as well. As thin as the iPod touch, in fact.

Up until now, we've only seen a few part leaks in regards to the iPad mini. It's possible these component leaks could have been earlier prototypes. Or they could be nothing at all. Either way, we should find out this October.

Source: Tech 163 via