Photos of alleged Apple iPad mini resurface

Alleged pictures of the iPad Mini.
Screenshot taken by Roger Cheng/CNET
Alleged pictures of the iPad Mini.
Screenshot taken by Roger Cheng/CNET

(CBS News) Rumors of an iPad mini have resurfaced. This time, the French blog NowhereElse has posted several photos of an alleged smaller Apple iPad.

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The photos were reposted from the Chinese blog DGtle and show the shell of a tablet with what looks like a 7-inch display, aluminum back and smaller dock connector.

Of course, none of the rumors of an iPad mini have been confirmed by Apple - and the photos could be a concept design by an enthusiastic fan.

Rumors of an iPad mini have been circulating for months. Most recently, in August the Japanese blog Macotakara, claimed that the smaller iPad will be called iPad mini citing "Asian sources."

Apple is widely expected to announce its next iPhone on Sept. 12, but confirmation on the iPad mini may have to wait. Citing "several sources," AllThingsD reported in August that an iPad mini will be announced in October and not with the iPhone 5. But, speculation that a 7.85-inch iPad would accompany the launch of the next iPhone has also been circulating for months.

Also in August, the blog CultofMac reported that the smaller iPad will likely be just like the current 9.7-inch iPad but scaled down to 7.85 inches.

In April, the Chinese blog NetEase reported that Apple placed an order for an iPad mini. According to the report, 6 million units have been ordered for release in the third quarter.

In March, DigiTimes reported that "makers" in Apple's supply chain began "delivering samples of a 7.85-inch iPads for verification." Weeks later, a report from the Korea Times cited an unnamed Samsung official that corroborated previous reports of a 7.85-inch tablet.

While Apple dominates the full-sized tablet market, scores of competitors have cropped up with smaller, cheaper alternative tablet computers. Last fall, Amazon and Barnes & Noble announced 7-inch tablets the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, respectively. The tablets were priced between $199 and $249. In June, Google announced the Nexus 7 Tablet, which is also priced at $199.

It's been speculated that if Apple releases a smaller iPad, it will likely be priced at anywhere from $249 to $299.