As I read this post from an iPhone, I actually feel that having the slide to unlock at the top is more ergonomic. When the phone is in your hand, your thumb is naturally point upwards. Also, the motion is easier to perform because your thumb doesn’t have to crimp up when it gets to the edge.
I even think that have the keyboard at the top of the screen would be easier to use. It would give your thumb a better range of motion. Typing with one hand is not very comfortable for this reason.
The iPad mini uses the same screen as the 3GS. You should expect the retina iPad mini to use the same screens that the iPhone uses. The most simple solution is for apple to pixel double the current screen, which should simply be the iPhone screen, so that they can cut the screens out of the same sheet.
There’s some really good looking examples, although I don’t see iOS looking like any of those. I think the best indication of where things will go is the new music app in iOS 6. It,s not flat, it still has texture, but it’s much cleaner. I also think the main change in the design will be the removal of gloss.