Could this be the first look at what I could only call the 'iPad mini'?
No, it's not. In British, it's called "taking the piss" of the situation by pointing out the irony of it - a ironic joke; something that is not widely grasped properly outside of this little island.
Steve Jobs has send a few emails back and forth to ordinary members of the public stating that this year has very much been an 'iPhone development' year, showing Apple's commitment to developing the mobile market. This, with the next generation iPhone 4G already leaked a number of times, expected to be released later on this year, seems to suggest it all might kick off next week at WWDC.
So if Apple were to bring out an iPad mini, it would either do one of two things. It would go beyond and above what the iPad was, and become the second generation iPad, even though it would be a more awkward size, still tormenting the owner that they couldn't stash it in their pocket. Or it would become a bridge device between a mobile phone (and sized device) and the universal tablet-sized computers nowadays, including the iPad.
I strongly believe that Apple won't pull this off. The iPad is new, shiny and capable of so much more. But everyone will know how far you can push a product. The iPod has been around for nearly a decade, with each year or so it becoming more advanced. The iPhone is about to hit its fourth revolution, and in a similar way, Windows is still going - though maybe not for much longer.
The iProducts that Apple has can continue for a good number of years yet before they exhaust their possibilities, either give up or accept defeat from a competitor with another product. But even as a young student who doesn't particularly like Apple products, I don't the latter happening.
I believe Apple will stop when it wants to, or shifts its focus onto something else. But that "mid-level Apple tablet lovechild" zone there? Well, roll in the HP Slate's or the Dell Streak's, or any other in-between tablet device to fill the void for the time being... until Apple negates them all with its own.