Monday, October 29, 2012, 04:32 pm PT (07:32 pm ET)
iPad mini Smart Covers being delivered ahead of tablet's launchA number of iPad mini buyers who purchased a Smart Cover for their device have already received the accessory, offering an early glimpse at what to expect when the mid-size Apple tablet launches on Friday.
An AppleInsider reader from Boston, Mass., was among a number of customers to receive the iPad mini's Smart Cover on Monday, some four days ahead of the tablet's release.
While nothing extraordinary can be gleaned from the unboxing images, the photos offer a closer look at the cover's materials and new non-metal hinge mechanism, both of which were highlighted during the mini's announcement last week.
Unlike the full-size iPad's Smart Cover, which comes in both polyurethane and leather designs, the mini's version will initially be offered only in the former configuration. The materials appear to be consistent with the versions built for the 9.7-inch iPad, including the soft microfiber inner lining and magnetic closure system.
The mini's Smart Cover is unique in that it eschews the metal hinge mechanism found in all other Smart Covers, replacing it with a magnet array covered in polyurethane and microfiber. The new design could be a move to protect the device's anodized aluminum shell which is offered in a black and slate colorway, the first for an Apple tablet.
Apple's $39 iPad mini Smart Cover is available in six colors, including dark gray, light gray, blue, pink, green, and red, with all styles in stock and ready for shipment from the Online Apple Store.
It was reported earlier on Monday that Apple had sold out of all iPad mini models only three days after the tablet went up for pre sale. Deliveries of the device are scheduled to hit customer's doorsteps and brick-and-mortar Apple Stores this Friday.
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