Today's Tech: Leaked images of iPad Mini, Amazon & Apple improve security following hack, Samsung responds to labour allegations

The rumour mill claims to have evidence substantiating the existence of the thus-far mythological iPad mini: images published on Chinese social network Weibo purport to show off the rear shell of a 7in version of Apple’s beloved tablet. If the photos are to be believed, and it’s not sure that they are, the new device could be a budget, Nexus 7-like affair, i.e. a slimmed down iPad without a rear-facing camera.

Both Amazon and Apple have said they are improving security measures after a US tech journalist’s entire digital life was hacked using vulnerabilities in their services. Amazon has said it will no longer allow customers to change essential account details like email and card card information over the phone, and Apple has instructed customer service staff to stop processing Apple ID password change requests over the phone.

Samsung has responded swiftly to a China Labor Watch report alleging that one of its suppliers is responsible for egregious labour infractions, including employing a factory workforce that is largely made up of children and students. The South Korean company has promised to send its own inspectors to the Huizhou, China facility to investigate the accusations, maintaining that two inspections this year uncovered no “irregularities”.

In considerably more positive news for Samsung, figures released by research firm IDC reveal that it helped boost Android’s market share to a whopping 68.1 per cent during the second quarter of this year. Samsung-produced handsets accounted for 44 per cent of all Android devices shipped during the quarter. Despite a nearly 30 per cent growth, Apple’s smartphone market share dropped to just under 17 per cent during that same period. Together, the two companies owned 85 per cent of the smartphone market during the second quarter of 2012.

A California judge has ordered Google and Oracle to reveal the identities of any journalists or bloggers who might have, in effect, been paid off for covering the tech giants’ recent patent battles. Given that the case is still ongoing, the judge argued that information regarding the journalists or bloggers in question "would be of use on appeal or on any remand to make clear whether any treatise, article, commentary or analysis on the issues posed by this case are possibly influenced by financial relationships to the parties or counsel."