Possible iPad Mini 4 Shell Revealed Right Before Microsoft Surface 3 Release

The iPad mini may not be as profitable as Apple as hoped, but that doesn’t mean they are going to stop trying. Mac Rumors describes the alleged shell of the upcoming iPad mini 4.

“The aluminum shell closely resembles the shell of the existing iPad mini, but it does include several design elements introduced with the iPad Air 2. There’s a single row of larger speaker holes alongside the Lightning port at the bottom of the device, rather than two smaller rows, and the mute switch on the device has been removed and replaced with a microphone hole.”

Mac Rumors goes on to point out that the iPad mini 4 will be even thinner than both the second and third generation units, which were already very thin. The device will also contain a much better processor. After all, people complained about the lack of a good processor in the iPad mini 3.

The upcoming iPad mini would compete with Microsoft’s upcoming Surface 3 tablet, which actually runs a full version of Windows, whereas the iPad mini 4 would run the mobile iOS version 8 or 9. According to the Microsoft website, the new Surface 3 will start off at $499, making it very affordable for those who want a tablet, but don’t need one as powerful as the higher-priced Surface Pro 3. The 10.8-inch unit will have a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution screen. It will run a quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor. The $499 version comes with 2GB of RAM, but you can have 4GB by spending an extra $100. The same pen capabilities of the Surface Pro 3 will be available on the new Surface 3.

Brent Rose of Gizmodo was able to spend some time with the Surface 3 and even if the device isn’t as light as the iPad or iPad Mini, it is still very portable.

“Overall, my impressions of the Surface 3 were positive. It just feels so much smaller and lighter than the Pro 3 or a typical ultrabook. It still feels big for a tablet, though. Compared to, say, an iPad, Google’s Nexus 9, or Sony’s Xperia tablets, it’s definitely big and heavy. But still you could easily toss it into a backpack and forget it’s there.”

Apple has experienced a downturn in sales with the iPad line, especially since the release of the iPhone 6 Plus, which is almost the size of a very small tablet. Besides preparing the iPad min 4, Apple is also set to release the iPad Pro, which is more in line with the upcoming Surface Pro 4 from Microsoft. Do you think the iPad mini is dead? Let us know in the comments section.

[Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]