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iPad Mini 4 Rumored to Be Smaller Version of iPad Air 2, A9-Based iPad Air 3 Still Possible for 2015

Apple's fourth-generation iPad mini could be a miniaturized version of the iPad Air 2, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The report claims that the iPad mini 4 will adopt some of the same features and specifications as the iPad Air 2, including an 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera, ultra-thin 6.1mm design and possibly a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating. Mac Otakara claims that Apple may release the new iPad mini alongside an A9-based iPad Air 3, contrary to a sketchy report last week from Taiwan's Economic Daily News that said no new iPad Air will be released in 2015 and that the iPad mini 4 could be Apple's last 7.9-inch tablet as the company focuses on its larger-sized iPad Air and much-rumored "iPad Pro" in the future. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, recently issued a note to investors that also claimed the iPad mini 4 will essentially be a smaller version of the iPad Air 2. Kuo did not make any predictions about the iPad Air 3 or the "iPad Pro" in his note, but he has mentioned the latter 12.9-inch tablet in previous notes to investors. Apple releasing a trio of new iPads later this year -- the iPad Air 3, iPad mini 4 and "iPad Pro" -- could help the company rebound from five consecutive quarters of declining iPad sales. Moreover, while Mac Otakara has a respectable track record reporting about Apple, there is not enough substantive evidence at this time to firmly suggest that all three tablets will actually be unveiled this

Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon

A new report out of Japanese Apple blog Mac Otakara [Google Translate] suggests that a refresh of the iPad Mini line could be hitting mid-cycle, bringing a beefier processor and faster Wi-Fi to a fourth-generation iPad mini. Considering that the iPad Mini 3 was only a slight refresh on its predecessor, packing the same processing speed and power and essentially adding only Touch ID and a gold color option into the mix, many have hoped the fourth generation version of the device would be a more substantial update than last year's. Mac Otakara's report states that the update would replace the iPad Mini 3's current A7 processor and 802.11n Wi-Fi with an A8 CPU and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Mac Otakara tells MacRumors, however, that there is some uncertainty with this rumor, and Mac Otakara is not convinced it is accurate. A short product cycle for an iPad would not be unprecedented, as the 9.7-inch iPad saw a seven-month interval in its third-generation, with the fourth-generation model shifting the iPad update cycle from the early part of the year to the late part and allowing Apple to quickly make the transition to the Lightning connector across its iOS device lineup. Timing on a potential mid-cycle refresh for the iPad mini is not entirely clear, but the obvious candidate in the near-term is Apple's "Spring Forward" event this coming Monday, March 9. Mac Otakara also says Apple has been pushing out iPad and notebook shipping estimates for resellers to 2-3 weeks, perhaps hinting at some imminent lineup changes. Apple reportedly has a MacBook Air refresh in the works

Japan Apple Stores Kick Off 'Lucky Bag' Sales with MacBook Air, iPads, iPod Touch Featured

Apple's retail locations in Japan have begun sales of the "Fukubukuro", also known as a "lucky bag", which offer an assortment of products at a steep discount. Japanese blog Mac Otakara (Google Translate) was present at the Apple Store in Nagoya to discover the exact content of the various bags among customers, with some shoppers receiving big-ticket items like iPads and MacBooks. MacBook Air Lucky Bag (Source: App Bank, Google Translate) This year's lucky bags sell for 36,000 yen ($300) and come in four different configurations, with common items including an Apple TV, a 4000 mAh Mophie Powerstation external battery pack, an Incase Icon backpack, an iTunes gift card, and Beats by Dre Powerbeats2 wireless earbuds. For the most valuable Fukubukuro bag, Apple included an 11-inch MacBook Air with a Power Support Air Jacket and a Twelve South PlugBug dual charger along with the common items. iPad Air 2 Lucky Bag (Source: Mac Otakara) Other variants of the bag offer a fifth-generation 16GB iPod touch, a 16GB iPad mini 3 or a 16GB iPad Air 2 alongside the common items. The iPad lucky bags also feature Logitech's UE Boom portable speaker. iPod touch Lucky Bag (Source: App Bank, Google Translate) Apple's grab bags are sold as is, and returns are not allowed unless a product is defective. The promotion is limited to Apple Stores in Japan, although they are usually met with long lines of shoppers hoping to purchase their own lucky

'iPad Pro' Said to Feature 12.2-Inch Display, 7-mm Thickness, Stereo Speakers at Top and Bottom

Apple's rumored "iPad Pro" has reportedly been in the works for some time, although the most recent rumors have indicated the company has pushed back its plans for the device as it seeks to give its manufacturing partners time to catch up to iPhone 6 Plus demand. Development work on the project is likely still continuing and a new report from Mac Otakara claims to share some new details on the device. According to the report, the larger iPad will include a 12.2-inch display, somewhat smaller than the 12.9-inch measurement most commonly rumored for the device. Sources also indicate the device will contain speakers and microphones on both the top and bottom edges, opening the door to an improved stereo audio experience.Product design concept seems to be based on iPad Air 2, pair of speakers and microphones will be added on top-side not only bottom’s pair. iPad Pro might be capable for supporting stereo audio.As for thickness, the report claims the iPad Pro will not match the 6.1 mm measurement of the new iPad Air 2 but will still be quite thin, coming in around the same 7 mm mark as the iPhone 6 (6.9 mm) and iPhone 6 Plus (7.1 mm). The report also includes a rough illustration, and while the sourcing of the illustration is unclear, it appears to show a row of holes presumably representing a speaker along the top edge of the device next to the power button. Mac Otakara has a relatively strong (but by no means perfect) track record with Apple product rumors, most recently accurately predicting the arrival of the iPad mini 3 last month alongside a relatively specific

Retina iPad Mini 2 Reportedly Coming Alongside iPad Air 2, New Smart Cover and Case Colors

While the second-generation iPad Air has been the subject of a number of rumors ahead of its expected unveiling this Thursday, there has been less information about the Retina iPad mini, which is currently more or less identical to its larger sibling with the exception of display size. Apple has generally been assumed to be planning a parallel upgrade for the iPad mini this month, but an early September report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expressed some uncertainty, saying the iPad mini would receive only a minor upgrade such as Touch ID, "if any", this year. Kuo's report was followed by another from Taiwanese media claiming the Retina iPad mini 2 was likely to launch early in 2015 ahead of the rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro". But now a new report from Mac Otakara [Google Translate] claims the second-generation Retina iPad mini does indeed appear set for an introduction alongside the iPad Air at this Thursday's press event. As part of this introduction, Apple also may update its Smart Cover and Smart Case lineup with new colors and a tweaked design compatible with these new tablets. While leaked iPad Air 2 components have been abundant, details on the upcoming Retina iPad mini 2 have been sparse, with a few reports claiming the device will receive only a modest upgrade as compared to the flagship iPad Air 2. The Retina iPad mini 2 is rumored to include only a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the A8 processor, as compared to the iPad Air 2, which may ship with a more powerful A8X processor, 2GB of RAM, Touch ID, a new gold color option, and more.

New Photos Claim to Show Purported Rear Shell of iPad Air 2

Taiwan-based accessory maker Yi Lin Enterprises has posted new photos on Weibo showing the purported rear shell of Apple's iPad Air 2 (Google Translate, via Mac Otakara). The images show off a gold housing with a number of design changes, including a new speaker grille with larger holes and a relocated rear microphone alongside the iSight camera. Last month, an alleged "perfect replica" of the iPad Air 2 surfaced, showing off a Touch ID home button for the device and recessed volume buttons along with the same refined speaker grille. The prototype followed the leak of a supposed front panel from the iPad Air 2 this past April, which showed an integrated display that may hint at a thinner form factor for the tablet. Apple's iPad Air 2 is expected to launch alongside the iPad mini 3 later this year, and is expected to include a faster A8 processor in addition to the aforementioned Touch ID fingerprint sensor and refined physical features. Rumors have also suggested that Apple is working on a larger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, however recent reports have indicated that plans for the tablet may be on hold for the foreseeable

Apple Preparing HD Audio Playback for iOS 8 Alongside New In-Ear Headphones and Lightning Cable

Apple is said to be introducing high definition audio playback in iOS 8 alongside new versions of its In-Ear Headphones and Lightning connector, according to a report from Mac Otakara (Google Translate). Building off of a report last month which claimed that Apple will announce high-fidelity iTunes music downloads at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the post notes that Apple will enable high-quality audio files to be played on iOS 8 compatible devices. Currently, iOS 7's stock Music app cannot play high quality 24-bit audio files that contain a sampling frequency beyond 48 kHz. Additionally, while third-party apps such as Onkyo's HF Player and FLAC Player are able to play said audio files, users are still limited to onboard playback at a 16-bit rate. Apple is also said to be preparing an upgraded Lightning cable to accommodate high-definition playback on Made For iPhone (MFi) audio accessories, although it isn't clear when the company would introduce the updated wire. Apple's In-Ear Headphones Finally, the report notes that Apple is working on a new version of its In-Ear Headphones to accommodate high-quality audio playback. The premium in-ear headphones have not been updated since 2008, however the product is still officially sold by Apple at its retail locations and in its Online Store for $79. Apple is expected to introduce iOS 8 at WWDC 2014, which will kick off on June 2. In addition to potentially enabling high-definition audio playback, the new mobile operating system is expected to include major improvements to Siri and

Pegatron Reportedly Receives 15% of 4.7-Inch iPhone 6 Orders Ahead of September Launch

According to a new report from Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times (Google Translate, via Mac Otakara), Apple supplier Pegatron has received 15% of the orders for Apple's upcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6 ahead of the device's launch this September. The report also notes that Pegatron will produce a total of 50 million iPhones this year, which includes iPhone 6, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 4S units. The report contrasts a story from Taiwan's Liberty Times in January, which stated that half of all iPhone 6 orders were expected to go to Pegatron. A report last month also noted that Foxconn was preparing for iPhone 6 production in the second quarter of this year at its new Kunshan, China plant, as the company has recruited new workers in China to meet the desired number of orders. In addition to Pegatron, fellow Apple supplier Foxconn is also likely to aide with production. Last year, Apple shifted iPhone 5c production to Pegatron in order to improve supply chain risk management, allowing Apple to balance its supply chain and minimize the risk of potential supply chain disasters. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 in two different screen sizes of 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will likely ship ahead of the 5.5-inch version, as Apple attempts to solve issues with the latter's display and battery. Aside from a larger screen, Apple's next-generation iPhone is expected to include a thinner profile, a faster A8 processor, and an improved camera.

Drawings of Alleged 4.7-Inch and 5.7-Inch iPhone 6c Models Surface [Updated]

Long-running Japanese magazine MacFan has published alleged drawings of what appear to be 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch iPhone 6c models in its latest issue, reports Mac Otakara [Google Translate]. The images appear to show a flat, bezel-free device with rectangle-shaped volume controls like those found on the current iPhone 5c, as well as a camera with a single LED-flash on the rear. While the validity of the drawings are unknown, iPhone 6 rumors have suggested that Apple will continue with the dual iPhone strategy, producing the iPhone 6 in two different sizes. The most recent report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei said that the iPhone 6 could launch "as early as September" in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes. Other reports have suggested that Apple will cease the production of a plastic iPhone in favor of using metal casings for both phones. Ultimately, it is unlikely that a lower-end 5.7-inch iPhone 6c would be released alongside a higher-end 5.5-inch iPhone 6. However, having two iPhone lines and two sizes would allow for Apple to continue with its current pricing strategy, offering a full-priced flagship device, a mid-tier lower-cost device, and an older device at an even lower cost. Mac Otakara also published a report [Google Translate] last month on the possibility of an expanded iPhone 5c line-up with 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch models. Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPhone sometime in Fall, which is likely to incorporate a durable sapphire display along with expected processor and camera upgrades. Update 6:28 AM: Here is a slightly higher resolution

Apple's Larger iPhone Design Said to Be Inspired by iPhone 5c and iPod Nano

Apple's much rumored larger iPhone is said to be a variation on the iPhone 5c rather than the iPhone 5s, according to a new report from Mac Otakara. Sources indicate that the larger iPhone would be an expansion to Apple's lineup rather than replacing the positions currently held by the iPhone 5s and 5c. Mac Otakara's sources claim Apple has decided on 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch displays as potential candidates for new iPhone models that would launch later this year. These two sizes originally were singled out by Reuters in a report published last year. This new iPhone model may keep the basic design of the iPhone 5c such as the rounded back edges, button designs, and speaker/microphone hole designs, with some inspiration from the seventh-generation iPod nano. The latest iPod nano models are available in a range of colors like the iPhone 5c, but feature an anodized aluminum design instead of polycarbonate. Sources also claim the 4.7-inch iPhone will measure at 14x7 cm, while the 5.7-inch model will be larger with dimensions of 16x8 cm. Possibly both models will be 7 mm thick with a protruding rear camera as seen on the current iPod touch models, although it the report indicates that the final version of the phone could be expanded to 7.5 mm thick to match the thickness of the camera module. The design for the phones should already be complete for a launch later this year, so it is unclear if Mac Otakara's sources are sharing information from earlier in the design process or if there is simply still some uncertainty in the sources' information. Rumors about Apple's

Apple Lowers Licensing Costs for Lightning Cables and Other MFi Accessories

Last month, Apple reportedly reduced the licensing costs for accessory manufacturers who are producing official gear for the iPhone, iPad or iPod. According to Mac Otakara, this reduction applies to Lightning cables as well as other accessories that are part of Apple's MFi (Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad) Program. Made for iPod (MFi) was launched in 2005 as a licensing and quality control program that allowed iPod accessory makers to ship their products with an Apple-approved "Made for iPod" label. At launch, Apple reportedly charged companies that wanted to participate in this program a 10% fee based on the wholesale cost of the device. Apple expanded its MFi Program to include the iPhone and iPad as those devices were added to the company's product portfolio, with Apple's Lightning cable introduced last in 2012 falling under the program's guidelines due to the serialized authentication chip embedded in the connectors. At last year's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple again extended the licensing to include game controllers for iOS devices. Those game controllers have generally arrived with higher pricing than expected by consumers, with some of the blame for pricing and quality issues being placed on Apple's requirements administered through the MFi Program. One high-profile controller, the SteelSeries Stratus, did, however, see a $20 price cut in the few weeks between announcement and launch last month, and while a cut to MFi licensing fees undoubtedly would not have accounted for the entire price drop, it may have given SteelSeries a bit of flexibility to make

Apple Makes Progress on Upcoming Retail Store in Tokyo's Omotesando District

Apple is creeping closer to opening a new flagship store in Toyko's well-known Omotesando district. Previously reported to be scheduled for a March 2014 opening, an image of the store published by Mac Otakara shows significant progress has been made on the store. Although wrapped in a black shroud, the exterior of the building is starting to take shape, with the building appearing to bear a resemblance to the Apple's new Stanford store. Just like the Stanford location, the Omotesando store appears to have floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a thin steel roof. Mac Otakara notes that the glass front and sides stand out from the silver-colored metal eaves. This same design is also evident in Apple's new stores planned for Portland, Oregon and Aix-en-Provence, France. The Omotesando location will feature 20,000 square feet of floor space spanning three floors. Two of the floors will be underground, while the top floor will be above ground. Apple has been hiring employees to staff the store for over six months, and it will be the first new store Apple has opened in Japan since 2006. The opening comes as Apple is seeing strong iPhone sales in Japan, with estimates from Kantar Worldpanel indicating that the iPhone 5s and 5c accounted for 76% of smartphone sales in the country in October, just after their

More Claims of 'iPhone 5C' Name, iPhone 5S with 'Gold' Color Option and Home Button Changes

Following a report late last month that appeared to show plastic retail packaging representing the rumored low-cost iPhone, Japanese blog Mac Otakara is reporting that "iPhone 5C" will indeed be the name of the device. The "C" designation would presumably refer to the various color options available on the rumored lower-cost device. The blog is also reporting more details on the iPhone 5S, including claims that the phone will be available in a gold color option, and that the camera on the phone will remain at 8 megapixels, but will feature a wider f/2.0 aperture to capture more light while taking photos. Several photo leaks have previously shown alleged iPhone 5S parts in a color variously described as "gold", "bronze", or "champagne", although the legitimacy of those parts has not been confirmed. Rendering of iPhone 5S in black, silver, and "gold"(Source: Mac Otakara) Also, the report says that the iPhone 5S will run on Apple's custom A7 processor, and that the rectangular mark on the home button of the phone will be removed, something that may be consistent with a report earlier from yesterday saying that the device would feature a new sapphire-covered convex home button housing a fingerprint sensor. According to my asian source, rumored coming iPhone powered by A7 processor will be released as “iPhone 5S”. This source told that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s guesses may be true. Ming-Chi guessed several points, the resolution of iSight camera will be stayed on 8M pixels but F-stop will be brighter up to 2.0. The gold color which is rumored as

Apple Considering 4.7" and 5.7" Screens for 2014 iPhone Models, iPhone 5S and Low-Cost iPhone Due in September

Reuters reports that Apple is looking closely at larger screens for upcoming iPhone models, indicating that the company is specifically testing display sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.7 inches for iPhone models that could launch next year. The iPhone 5 carries a 4-inch display, up from the 3.5-inch displays found in prior models.Apple is looking at introducing at least two bigger iPhones next year - one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.7-inch screen - said the sources, including those in the supply chain in Asia. They said suppliers have been approached with plans for the larger screens, but noted it is still unclear whether Apple will actually launch its flagship product in the larger sizes. "They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you're not really sure whether this is the final prototype," said one person with direct knowledge of the matter.The report also addresses Apple's plans for this year, claiming that the company is expected to deliver both an iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor technology and a lower-cost iPhone in multiple colors in the September timeframe.For this year, Apple is expected to launch two new models, widely referred to as the iPhone 5S, with new fingerprint technology, and a cheaper version in plastic casing, supply chain sources have said. Apple plans to dress up the cheaper phone in a range of 5-6 colors to differentiate it from the more expensive model that has traditionally come only in black and white. The U.S. firm has discussed a price of $99 for the cheaper phone, the timing of which could slip to

New Colors Rumored for iPhone 5S and Lower-Cost iPhone, Dual LED Flash for iPhone 5S?

Mac Otakara has released a report with new details on a number of upcoming products, including the rumored low cost iPhone, the iPhone 5S, and the iPad 5. Citing information from several different sources, the site suggests that the low cost iPhone may ship in a number of different colors and that it will begin trial production soon. Color choices for the low cost iPhone remain murky, as the site has heard rumors from two different sources. The first source said that the low cost iPhone will come in colors that include navy, gold orange, white, and gray, while a second source named white, pink, green, blue, and yellow orange as the available colors. A common theme, however, is that the low cost iPhone will not include a black option. Rendering of low cost iPhone in multiple colors Apple's rumored low cost iPhone is said to be targeted at emerging markets, carrying a price tag of approximately $350-$400 without subsidies. To facilitate a lower price tag, the phone is rumored to have a polycarbonate shell. According to Makotakara, the low cost iPhone will begin a field test production in June, which will be followed up by wide ranging production in July to accommodate a September launch. This launch date is a bit confusing, as Mac Otakara previously said that the low cost iPhone would ship in 2014. As for the iPhone 5S, Mac Otakara believes that it too will come in multiple colors. Previously, the site suggested that it would ship in three different colors, including the original black and white, but now says that additional colors might be offered, namely gold

Apple's Polycarbonate iPhone with 4.5-Inch Display Arriving for $330 in 2014?

Japanese blog Mac Otakara reports (via AppleInsider) that Apple's plans for a lower-cost iPhone have now been pushed back to 2014, with the company reportedly planning to use a polycarbonate body similar to that seen on the discontinued white plastic MacBook. Apple is said to be targeting a price of $330 for unsubsidized models, significantly lowering the cost of entry in markets where carrier subsidies are uncommon. The lower-cost iPhone is also said to include a 4.5-inch display, larger than the 4-inch display that debuted last September with the iPhone 5. Apple has been rumored to be developing both larger and cheaper iPhone models, although most observers have expected the lower-cost iPhone to adopt a screen size in line with either the iPhone 4S or perhaps the iPhone 5 in order to help Apple save on costs. Digitimes last month was the first source to claim that the lower-cost iPhone would carry a larger screen with a launch later this year, but it later backtracked from those claims in noting that a larger iPhone would not launch this year. Mac Otakara suggests that the plastic iPhone will measure somewhat thicker than the iPhone 5 given the thicker material being used for the casing, but that the device will otherwise be very similar to the current design. Finally, the report claims that the iPhone 5S to be launched later this year will adopt a dual-LED flash system for the rear camera. iLounge had previously claimed that the iPhone 5S will include an improved flash, along with an enhanced rear camera sensor and a processor bump. Mac Otakara has

Thinner, Lighter 5th Generation iPad to Arrive in March 2013?

Japanese blog Mac Otakara is reporting that a redesigned fifth-generation iPad could arrive in March 2013. However Chinese news ZOL (CBS Interactive) reported next iPad mini in AppleInsider's article, according to my inside source, iPad(5th) may be released in March, 2013. Source told that, design of this new iPad will be like iPad mini in detail, and be thinner and lightweight.Apple just released the fourth-generation iPad about two months ago, which could make this fifth-generation iPad, if the report is true, the second in five months. The design is said to have taken inspiration from the iPad mini and will be thinner and more lightweight. According to the site, the new iPad will 4mm, 17mm and 2mm smaller in height, width, and depth than the current models. Previously, Digitimes also reported that a new iPad could appear in the "Middle of 2013". Except for the fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini, new iPads are have traditionally released in the first couple months of the year. Mac Otakara has been a source of accurate information in the past, predicting the design of this year's iPod Nano and iPod Touch

Apple's Rumored Carbon Fiber Part Shipments Said to Be Result of Multi-Year Partnership

Late last month, Mac Otakara reported that Apple had ordered carbon fiber components for an unknown product from a Japanese company. The order was said to be too large to simply be a sample, but no other details on the part were revealed. Mac Otakara now reports that the shipments are actually the result of a long-standing partnership between Apple and the carbon fiber company dating back at least three years.I reported Apple ordered some - huge number of - sample of carbon fiber products for Japanese company, and now I tell that research devision of this company has been co-operated with Apple at least for 3 years.Details on the exact part or the device for which it is intended are still unknown, but Apple is said to be looking to create a "completely different weaved fiber" from that used in other products. Diagram of carbon fiber weave from October 2007 Apple patent application Apple's interest in carbon fiber is well-known, and several rumors had suggested that Apple was at least toying with the idea of using a carbon fiber rear shell on the iPad 2 to increase strength while decreasing weight. Those efforts obviously did not pan out, but it seems clear that Apple continues to be interested in the

'iPad Mini' Design Change Halts Production by Case Manufacturers?

Over the past several months, numerous cases and physical mockups for Apple's rumored "iPad mini" have leaked, offering what many have believed will be a good approximation of what the device will actually look like. But according to a brief report from Mac Otakara, those case manufacturers may now need to shift gears as one company has reported that it has halted production on its iPad mini cases due to an unspecified design change.Large OEM mobile accessory maker has stopped their iPad mini case production, because the form of iPad mini seems to be changed. Source told me the round shape seems changed, then case designed based on leaked iPad mini may be dropped.Case designs have historically been quite accurate in predicting the overall design of Apple's products, with the major exception of 2011's tapered "iPhone 5" design that never came to pass as Apple ultimately released the iPhone 4S with essentially the same design as the iPhone 4. It is unclear, however, exactly what may have changed with the iPad mini's design. Alleged part photos showing the rear shell and front panel have surfaced looking very much like the design generated by case manufacturers, but it is unknown whether those parts are actual production parts or perhaps older ones from prior to the design change. Even so, the design change may simply be a small tweak that may not be immediately obvious in low-resolution parts photos but significant enough to cause problems for case manufacturers trying to get a head start on the iPad mini

'iPad Mini' Production Reportedly Underway in Brazil

Japanese blog Mac Otakara reports that it has received information from a source indicating that Apple's assembly partner Foxconn has begun production on the forthcoming "iPad mini" at its facilities in Brazil. The report seems to be a follow-up on the site's July report claiming that production would begin ramping in Brazil in September.According to my source, iPad mini was started production in Brazilian factory. I don't have information if it has been produced in Chinese factory, yet.Foxconn has been working to ramp up iPhone and iPad production in Brazil, negotiating with government officials there for tax breaks to help tap into the large workforce in the country and to help its partners such as Apple circumvent high import taxes on foreign-made goods in the world's fifth most-populous country. Mockup of 7.85-inch "iPad mini" next to full-size iPad (courtesy of CiccareseDesign) Mac Otakara's source indicates that the iPad mini units in production in Brazil lack a small hole near the top center of the device's rear shell, which some had speculated was for a microphone. That feature has appeared on cases and design drawings that have leaked over the past few months, as well as in the numerous physical mockups currently circulating. Apple will reportedly be introducing the iPad mini at a media event scheduled for this month, with a source reporting to Fortune that Apple is rumored to be sending out invitations on October 10. Based on Apple's typical timelines, the media event would take place about one week