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Thursday, September 06, 2012, 01:27 am PT (04:27 am ET)

High-quality images claim to show 'iPad mini' housing in detail

New photos claiming to show the machined aluminum back casing bound for a rumored 7.85-inch iPad hit the web on Wednesday, adding to the mountain of purported leaks relating to Apple's fall iDevice lineup.

While the pictures from Chinese website digi.163 (via nowhereelse.fr) appear to match previous images of the so-called "iPad mini," closer inspection of the part reveals slight discrepancies regarding the rumored tablet's design.

Perhaps most obvious is the placement of the headphone jack, which was thought to be located at the bottom of the device alongside the device's dock connector and repositioned speakers. Pictures of a large flex cable allegedly meant for the smaller iPad surfaced last month, clearly showing the 3.5mm jack situated adjacent to the new 9-pin connector.

iPad mini Housing

Source: digi.163


Interestingly, recent images of alleged iPad mini cases corroborate the top-mounted headphone jack design. Those same photos also showed an opening for a rear-facing camera and a mysterious small hole, the use of which is not yet known.

iPad mini Housing


Also seen in the fresh photos are cut-outs for the unit's volume and power button, a rear-facing camera, speaker assembly and a smaller dock connector.

iPad mini Housing


There are a number of possibilities as to why Wednesday's photos don't line up with the previous flex cable images, including a redesign or the illegitimacy of one of the supposedly leaked parts.

iPad mini Housing


Apple is rumored to be launching the 7.85-inch iPad in October, with the device expected to be as thin as the iPod touch while retaining some of the media player's design assets like thinner bezels.