iPad 3: Leaked Images Show Few External Changes, Big Internal Changes

    February 9, 2012

UPDATE: iPad 3 Launch Event rumored for the first week of March.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Several images are circulating this morning that appear to be components of the forthcoming iPad 3. While the various images show some interesting updates to some of the tablet’s internal components, they also suggest that the device will be almost identical to its predecessor, the iPad 2.

Cult of Mac has obtained images from iPatch, a British company specializing in the repair of iOS devices. The leaked images include the internal cable for the sleep/wake button, mute switch, and volume buttons. Despite slight internal differences, the arrangement of the buttons appears very much the same. Other images show the microphone, which is significantly different than the one found in the iPad 2. The internal Wi-Fi components also appear to be significantly different, as does the headphone jack.

iPad 3 Microphone

iPad 3 Wi-Fi

Other images, both from Cult of Mac and Chinese tech blog Apple.Pro (Google Translation) purport to show the back panel of the iPad. Assuming they’re genuine, it looks like the iPad 3 is going to be basically identical to the iPad 2 from an external design standpoint.

These images confirm what the rumor mill has been saying for some time: the iPad 3 will get some fairly significant internal upgrades, but will be basically the same as the iPad 2 on the outside. A prototype of the iPad 3 was purportedly spotted in the wild at CES last month. Apart from being marginally thicker than the iPad 2, it was identical. Meanwhile, other rumors have suggested major internal upgrades to the tablet, including a quad-core processor, 4G LTE capability, a significant camera upgrade, and a retina display.

iPad 3 Camera Port

For more information you can find all our iPad 3 coverage here. We’re already over a quarter of the way through February, and the iPad is likely to launch some time in March. That being the case, you can expect more rumors – and more reliable rumors – to surface in the coming weeks. Check back here for more information as it becomes available.