As we approach the rumoured release date of the iPad mini, new photographs have surfaced showing an anodized aluminium black back plate for the smaller tablet.

Earlier this week, new reports emerged claiming that Apple will send out invitations for an iPad mini event on 10 October, with the event being held on 17 October and a 2 November on sale date.

If the new photographs prove to be legitimate, Apple could offer its 7.85in tablet in an anodized aluminium Black & Slate model like the one introduced with the iPhone 5 in September.

However, many iPhone 5 owners have reported that the Black & Slate model scratches easily, which could spell trouble for a Black & Slate iPad mini. Apple’s Phil Schiller says that the iPhone 5 scratches are ‘normal,’ though.

According to UkrainianiPhone, the photographs were taken by a source “close to Apple production line in China.”

The photographs show a Lightning dock connector at the bottom of the iPad mini, as well as a NanoSIM tray, indicating that the rumours about Apple planning to only launch a WiFi iPad mini to keep costs down might be incorrect.

What do you think about the idea of a Black & Slate iPad mini?

Keep an eye out for more information about the iPad mini in the coming weeks.

See also:

New video of iPad mini mockup emerges from Japan
Analysis finds toxic chemicals in Apple’s iPhone 5 are ‘low concern’
iPhone, iPad users complain of overheating, battery drain after iOS 6 upgrade