Over the past couple of months, multiple rumours have pointed to the fifth-generation iPad being in development with a iPad Mini like design. The new design for the bigger iPad would likely mean a black & slate/white & silver colour design, a thinner casing, chamfered edge and an overall small footprint.
Yesterday, 9to5Mac received an unverified image from a purported China-based iPad accessories maker. This is an industry that seems to frequently tip-off Apple’s future product designs. The image that they send this time is that of the back plate for Apple’s fifth generation iPad.
While nobody can currently verify if the above image is legitimate, it does provides a solid idea of what Apple is likely to include with its new iPad. 9to5Mac were told that this is a prototype back piece for the newer iPad with a 9.7-inch display. They were also told that the casing is almost as thin as the iPad Mini’s back (pictured to the right). As you can see, the is a black antenna cut on the iPad 5’s backplate, implying that this casing would likely be for a LTE model.
Early rumors about the fifth-generation iPad claimed that the device will arrive around March of this year, but recent reports have said that the device has been delayed until around October of this year
If the next iPad was actually considered for a spring-time launch, the fact that multiple casing are hovering around in China at the present moment should not be taken by surprise. The first accurate images of the iPhone 5 backplates and parts surfaced around five months before that device’s release.
Yesterday, we reported that Apple is planning on releasing a new fourth-generation iPad model that may feature 128GB of on-board storage. The mid-cycle update could infer that the fourth-generation iPad’s successor truly is not ready to go until later this year.
Other Apple products that are expected in 2013 are an iPhone 5S and an iPad Mini (with Retina Display.)