Leaked ‘iPad mini 5’ case reinforces our worst fears

By

iPad mini 5 case leak
Looks familiar, doesn't it?
Photo: 91Mobiles

An apparent “iPad mini 5” case corroborates rumors that this year’s much-anticipated refresh won’t bring a spectacular new design to Apple’s smallest tablet.

The case also dashes hopes that the new device will pick up an LED camera flash, a Smart Connector, and four stereo speakers. But is it genuine?

It has been more than three years since Apple updated the iPad mini. Its lack of attention has led lots of fans to assume that the device was more likely set to be discontinued rather than refreshed. But just as it did for the MacBook Air, Apple is expected to bring the iPad mini back from the dead.

A fifth-generation iPad mini is expected to arrive sometime this year. It is expected to come with faster chips and other internal improvements. However, recent reports have warned that we won’t see any changes to its form factor.

iPad mini 5 will look very familiar

Images of a supposed iPad mini 5 case, published by Indian blog 91Mobiles, seems to corroborate those claims. They suggest the new iPad mini will look exactly like its predecessors, with all buttons and ports in the same places.

The only difference is a relocated rear-facing microphone. The case, if genuine, quashes suggestions that the new iPad mini will offer four speakers, a Smart Connector, and an LED camera flash.

There is a silver lining: It looks like the new model will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

iPad mini 5 could arrive this spring

iPad fans won’t be too surprised. We have been warned by several sources, including reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that the new iPad mini won’t bring big design changes. Nevertheless, confirmation of that is still disappointing.

Apple still sells the fourth-generation iPad mini, but at $399, it is becoming an increasingly difficult sell. The new model is expected to arrive this spring, though it probably won’t appear at Apple’s March 25 event.

If indeed we are in for a minor spec bump, it’s likely Apple will announce the device in a press release. Smaller updates don’t typically warrant a keynote mention.