Last year's iPad mini 3 refresh turned out to be something of a damp squib, with Apple making only minor changes to its compact slate.
But the Cupertino tech giant appears to have more in its locker this time around, based on latest leaks for the iPad mini 4.
New images have emerged of a dummy tablet - purporting to be the in-development version - sitting alongside a semi-transparent, soft silicon case.
The protective shield appears to cover the front and back of the tablet. But more interesting is that the snaps hint that a reworked design is in store for us this time around.
From the images, it appears that this year's version of the tablet will offer a thinner, sleeker design, and come with a microphone in place of the mute switch. This feature may appeal to Skype and FaceTime fans in particular.
That means the only physical buttons on the device will be the home button and the volume controls.
A single row of speaker grill openings is also evident, while the Lightning Connection port remains firmly in place.
The emergence of the casing suggests the launch date for the iPad mini 4 may be drawing near.
The next-gen slate is expected to make its entrance in the autumn, potentially at the same time as the iPhone 6S / iPhone 7.
Given the slew of other tablet changes being predicted, it's likely Apple will make a much bigger fuss over the iPad mini 4 than we saw last October for its predecessor.
The gadget-maker largely glossed over the iPad mini 3 upgrade at the 2014 launch.
The iPad mini 4 is set to run Apple's latest operating system, iOS 9, which offers split-screen multi-tasking on iPads, and will purportedly feature internal technical improvements such as a new A9 processor and 2GB of RAM.
@OnLeaks of Nowhereelse.fr