Though analysts usually know nothing more than regular ol' John Apple Fan at home, they do sometimes get access to tech factories and shredded supply chain documents hinting at upcoming products. One analyst, Topeka Capital's Brian White, claims to have actually held an iPad Mini prototype and even put it in his pocket.
Fortune details White's tour of Apple's Asia supply chain and reveals what White told his clients:
During our recent China-Taiwan Tech Tour, we had the opportunity to play with a pilot version of the "iPad Mini" that easily fit into our sport coat pocket. Experiencing a new form factor of an iconic product such as the iPad is a sight to behold and we believe consumer demand will reflect this phenomenon. We expect the "iPad Mini" to be 7.85 inches in size, include two cameras, come with the option of Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and 4G/3G, include the new lightening connector, start at lower storage capacity (8GB) than the iPad, sport a more refined back casing, come in slightly different color variation (i.e., similar to iPhone 5) and offer some surprises. We expect the "iPad Mini" to begin at a price point of $250-$300.
At this point so late in the rumor cycle, these predictions are all fairly safe guesses and nothing out of the ordinary. There's no saying if this "pilot version" of the iPad mini was actually legitimate or from Apple or from any non-knockoff shop in China but we're so close to the announcement that we'll find out what's really what tomorrow. [Fortune]