Apple fans are looking forwards with keen anticipation to the expected launch of the iPhone 5 tonight.
But it is possible Apple might surprise us “one last thing” by the end of tonight’s presentation – an iPad Mini, a shrunken-down, pocket-friendly of the iconic tablet which ushered in the post-PC era.
Now, a leak from Chinese website shows us the potential size of Apple’s new range and – even if all we are looking at is cases – is the first image to show us how an enthusiast’s collection will stack up.
If the Apple Mini does not arrive tonight, a number of leaks and images of prototypes imply the device will be on shelves before Christmas.
Leaked images claim to show how the new iPhone, iPad Mini, and iPad stack up against each other
These images appeared on a Chinese supplier’s website, before being spotted by French website nowhereelse.fr.
Nowhereelse said the images conform to previous leaks about the iPad Mini, and their own mocked-up iPad Mini, based on specifications revealed over the last few months, matched these covers “perfectly”.
The blog website added: “In addition, the location of the holes cut into multiple accessory supposedly designed to protect the iPad Mini correspond perfectly with the positioning of components.”
The Apple Mini is believed to sport an eight-inch screen, making it a shrunken version of the iPad’s ten-inches.
This will allow a higher degree of portability over previous models, and also give Apple the ammunition to compete with Google, which recently brought out a seven-inch range of Nexus tablets.
It is also believed to be a 3G-capable model, meaning you can use data on the go.
While Steve Jobs was famously against smaller iPads, the success of the Nexus and Amazon’s Fire of budget tablets appears to have convinced Apple there is a market for the slim-line device.
Rumors from Apple suppliers suggest the innards of the Mini will be equivalent to an iPad 2, which analysts suggest will be more than enough to power the shrunken device.
The third iPad had a specification increase but also increased slightly in weight due to the demands of the high-definition Retina display.
A prototype Leica camera has sold for 2.16 million Euros ($2.8 million) at the Galerie Westlicht in Vienna, Austria, setting a new world record for a camera.
It was one of just 25 models created in 1923 as a prototype for the groundbreaking Leica A, which was the first commercially successful compact camera to use 35 mm film.
Branded the “null-serie”, or 0-Series, only 12 are known to have survived.
The camera was bought by an anonymous bidder.
Saturday’s bidding started at 300,000 Euros, with an estimate of 600,000 Euros.
But by the time the hammer fell, the bids had escalated to 1.8 million Euros. The remainder of the sale price included taxes and fees.
A prototype Leica camera has sold for 2.16 million Euros ($2.8 million) at the Galerie Westlicht in Vienna, Austria, setting a new world record for a camera
The prices such cameras fetch show the growing interest in early photographic materials.
The previous record was also held by a 0-Series Leica which fetched 1.32 million Euros. In 2007, that camera had been auctioned for just 336,000 Euros.
Leica was founded in 1849, specializing in the development of lenses and microscopes.
Optical engineer Oskar Barnack worked in the microscope division, but was a keen photographer in his spare time. Because he suffered chronic asthma, he longed for a lightweight camera that would be less cumbersome to carry around with him.
Seeing the potential of 35 mm film – the same format used by Hollywood movies – Barnack designed personal prototypes for the Leica cameras in the years 1908-1923, and many of his shots from this period still survive.
After he brought the idea to his bosses, the 25 0-Series cameras were created for internal tests, and to discover whether other photographers would adopt the format.
Although the prototypes received a mixed reception, the company took a gamble and produced 1,000 units of the Leica A.
Notable for its collapsible lens, the camera went on sale in 1925. By 1932, about 90,000 Leica cameras were in use.
The company, based in Solms, Germany, remains a leading camera manufacturer today.