Alleged iPad mini 2 Rear Shell Photos Hit The Web

While the rumor mill is busy discussing whether the second generation iPad mini will feature a Retina Display, the Chinese site WeiPhone is sharing a number of photos that author claims to be the rear shell of the iPad mini 2.

As you can see from the image above, the pictures show a rear shell that looks similar to that of the currently available iPad mini, although it appears slightly thicker from some angles. This, however, could be the result of an optical illusion, as well as the result of the design changes needed to add a Retina Display. (Just a side note: the iPad 3 became slightly thicker as Apple switched to Retina Display.) This move, however, also triggers a bigger battery, and as a result a design change that involves a thicker rear shell, as the iPad 3 example has shown.

The images also show a bright blue Apple logo and the usual “iPad” text back shell. The coloring could be part of the process in creating the mirrored Apple logo and the text as seen on the iPads already available to customers.

However, another explanation is that Apple may launch the second-generation iPad mini in additional colors like it did with the iPod touch back in September. The next generation (low-cost) iPhone is rumored to come in multiple colors as well.

Although we can’t confirm the legitimacy of the above images, they seem to show that the manufacturing process of the second generation iPad mini is advancing. Another question that remains unanswered though: Who will supply the display and touchscreen for the iPad mini 2? The rumor mill is whispering that Apple is already lining up suppliers for the next generation small tablet, but as of now we have no confirmed information about it.

A reliable French sister-site Nowhereelse.fr has analyzed the images, noting in both sets the presence of boxes labeled “Catcher”, which is indeed one of Apple’s primary casing suppliers. They believe the above batch of photos showcase the current iPad mini rather than a second-generation model.

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[Via Macrumors]