Are Apple engineers already testing out the iPad Mini? Well, yes, of course they are. An Instapaper developer Marco Arment recently took at look at its logs and found some interesting device information. He confirmed to have discovered two new iPad device codes in his logs that he believes represents the yet-to-be-released 7.85-inch iPad mini.
The log entries in question show references to an iPad with two new identifiers – “iPad2,5″ and “iPad2,6″, likely indicating that Apple employees are testing new iPad models. As noted by the developer, the iPad2,1 through iPad 2,3 numbering represents the iPad 2′s WiFi, GSM and CDMA models, whilst the iPad2,4 represents a die-shrunk/cheaper version of the iPad 2 that was released alongside the new retina iPad with a designation of iPad3,x.
It is plausible that the new “iPad2,5″ and “iPad2,6″ codes discovered could simply be GSM and CDMA versions of the iPad 2 with the 32nm A5 chip, but the developer believes such a move by Apple engineers would be inconceivable. He adds, since iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 have not been spotted anywhere before, they are likely to be the long rumored ‘iPad mini’ that will sport an A5 processor with 512MB of RAM.
The much more likely explanation is that iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 are the new “iPad Mini” in Wi-Fi and GSM, and I haven’t recorded the likely iPad2,7 CDMA version yet.
If so, this suggests that the iPad Mini is, effectively, an iPad 2: an A5 with 512 MB of RAM and enough GPU power to drive the Gruber Display, but not a Retina Display.
It’s a textbook Tim Cook supply-chain move: selling the last generation’s hardware at a lower price point to expand market share.
Though it’s fascinating to see apparent evidence of such highly-anticipated Apple releases, there aren’t really any surprises here. We’ve known for months that Apple is considering launching 7.85″ mini iPad this year with some reports positioning its launch in October.