Vostrostone, an electronic goods retailer, posted on Amazon a listing for a Microsoft Surface Mini ultra-thin Smart Cover case that is set to be available in May this year. The only problem is there is no Surface Mini.
Rumors of a 7 to 8-inch Surface Mini running on an integrated Windows RT and Windows Phone OS spread like wildfire in February when makers of Microsoft's supply chain in Taiwan reportedly announced that Microsoft is slated to release its competitor to the iPad Mini sometime in June 2014.
In 2013, analysts from NPD DisplaySearch and IHS iSuppli were interviewed by CNET and claimed that Microsoft is said to unbox a 7.5-inch Windows RT tablet with a respectable screen resolution of 1400 x 1050.
Microsoft, however, remained silent when asked about the impending release of a possible Surface Mini.
According to the Vostrostone listing, the Smart Cover case has "specifically designed cutouts for Microsoft Surface Mini tablet" that allows users full access to the screen, buttons, ports and camera. It is also said to be made from "premium" polyurethane leather that will "wear well and maintain the look of your device." The case is set to retail for $9.99 on May 18, 2014.
The Amazon retailer also has another listing for a Microsoft Surface Mini Bluetooth keyboard portfolio case that reportedly fits only the Surface Mini. The keyboard case, which retails for $32.99, will also be available on the same date as the case cover.
The tablet in the listing images is not the Surface Mini, but a placeholder that looks like an 8-inch Lenovo ThinkPad, which uses a full version of Windows 8.1.
Long-time Microsoft follower Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet believes that Microsoft will not uncover the Surface Mini until spring of this year.
"One of my sources who has been solid on Microsoft's roadmap in the past says the Surface Mini is coming, but not in calendar 2013. Supposedly, this source claims, Microsoft is going to launch the Surface Mini in 2014. The reason? The Surface Mini is going to come preloaded with a Windows 8.1 update that is codenamed 'Spring 2014 GDR'," Foley writes.
The new Microsoft Mini will run on a Qualcomm ARM processor and have a proper digital pen input for note-taking, according to Foley's sources.
Microsoft owns a minimal portion of the tablet market. Research firm Gartner reports that Windows tablets made up a measly 2% of the market share in 2013. With Surface sales on the decline, Microsoft should be eager to put out something that will make a dent in the tablet industry.