The iPad Mini is expected for an October release date, and yet another bit of evidence that it may launch soon has surfaced on the web. New iPad device codes have appeared on Instapaper developer's Marco Arment's logs, according to Mac Rumors.
Arment believes that these codes are in reference to Apple's alleged iPad Mini, which is predicted to be unveiled alongside the long-awaited iPhone 5 on Sept. 12. The allegedly leaked codes which appeared in the logs include "iPad2,5" and "iPad2,6."
With previous iPad releases, the code name "iPad2,1" through "iPad2,3" have represented variations of the iPad 2, such as the WiFi model and the GSM and CDMA models. The code "iPad2,4" represented a cheaper version of the iPad 2 that was launched alongside the "new iPad" that debuted in March.
The names "iPad2,5" and "iPad2,6" have not appeared before in any logs, indicating that this may signify that a new iPad is coming soon. Arment said that this is likely to be the iPad Mini, which will reportedly feature a 7-inch screen and hardware based on that of the iPad 2.
"The much more likely explanation is that iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 are the new 'iPad Mini' in Wi-Fi and GSM, and I haven't recorded the likely iPad2,7 CDMA version yet," Arment said, according to Mac Rumors.
He went on to say that the iPad Mini will bear striking similarities to Apple's iPad 2.
"If so, this suggests that the iPad Mini is, effectively, an iPad 2: an A5 with 512 MB of RAM and enough GPU power to drive the Gruber Display, but not a Retina Display," Arment said. "It's a textbook Tim Cook supply chain move: selling the last generation's hardware at a lower price point to expand marketshare."
This Gruber display mentioned above refers to speculations made by John Gruber that the iPad Mini makes sense with a 7.85-inch display. This shares the same resolution as the original iPad at 1024 x 760.
Arment goes into further detail about the possible features and specs that will appear with the iPad Mini in his blog post, "Predicting the 'iPad Mini' internals."
"This is all speculation, of course, but I'm convinced: like the leaked Dock connector, this move is so ingenious that it's most likely to be what Apple has really done," he writes.
Apple's rumored iPad Mini release is said to combat competitors in the smaller tablet market, such as Google's Nexus 7. A key factor in determining the success of the iPad Mini is the device's price, and how it compares to its rivaling gadgets.
The true answer as to whether or not Apple will lowball the price of its iPad Mini is whether or not it wants to crush the competition or main tan dominance, as CNET reports.
An iPad Mini price of $299 "would sit in a more comfortable place as far as profit," analyst Rhoda Alexander of HIS iSuppli said to CNET. However, Alexander believes that Apple could go as low as $249 when introducing its smaller tablet to the market.
For a higher end model with 4G LTE, the analyst said that $349 is a price often referred to. And Google seems to be anticipating this potential release, as the search engine giant slipped its recently introduced Nexus 7 tablet into its home page.
It's clear that Google is pushing more sales before the iPad Mini is rumored to launch.
"The input I'm getting from the supply side is that [Google] has actually raised the quantity of orders being built this year," Alexander also said to CNET. "We see it on the order of five to six million in 2012 or maybe even a little more than six million."
It was recently reported that Apple is ramping up its production of the alleged iPad Mini, indicating that a release date may be near. Supply volume of the tablet is estimated to reach four million units per month beginning in September, DigiTimes reported earlier in August. This prediction is said to be an effort by Apple to gear up for the impending holiday season, sources from the supply chain reportedly said to the tech news website.
The latest batch of rumors have also said that the iPad Mini is slated for an October launch, and that the Apple supply chain had begun shipping a small volume of iPad Mini devices in June.
In addition to speculations about when the iPad Mini will be released, there have also been estimates and predictions about what features will make it to the tinier tablet. These include slimmer side bezels, separate volume buttons, two front cameras, 7.2-7.3 mm thickness, a form factor similar to that of the iPod Touch, and possible LTE connectivity.
However, fans will have to wait until next month to see if Tim Cook unveils an iPad Mini alongside the rumored iPhone 5. It is important to remember that the above information has not been confirmed by Apple and is based on rendered images, alleged leaks and design schematics, and quotes from analysts.