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Leaked iPad Mini images suggest next-gen version to include Retina display

After only four months on the market, the iPad mini is a certified hit with consumers. But perhaps the only knock against the device has been related to its display, which falls slightly behind similarly sized tablets such as the Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. However, if new leaked images are any clue, Apple may be about to remedy that issue in the device's next update.

In a post on China's WeiPhone, which was picked up by mobile device site Mobilespie, one forum member uploaded a set of photos showing off what looks to be an updated back casing for the iPad mini. Sporting an odd, possibly pre-production blue Apple logo, the case has all the design elements associated with the current iPad mini, however, upon closer inspection of the images, the back casing appears to be slightly thicker than the current version.

A thicker housing would support the notion, rumoured almost since the launch of the first iPad mini, that Apple would have to slightly increase the device's thickness in order to support a higher-resolution Retina display. Of course, considering the high volume of bootleg gadgets produced in China, any images originating from the region are just as likely to be counterfeit knockoffs. Nevertheless, after perusing the various close-up angles of the new back casing, the authentic appearance of the hardware is difficult to dismiss.

To WeiPhone's credit, the site did produce an accurate preview of the iPad 3's logic board nearly nine months before the device's official debut. This, along with other confirmed Apple information leaks, gives the site a decent amount of credibility. Speculation aside, the excitement around a new iPad mini with a Retina display indicates that the device, which some believe represents the proper form factor for Apple's tablet line, remains strong even in the face of growing competition.

Image Credit: WeiPhone