With Apple set to unveil the new iPad 3 in just two weeks (maybe), the rumors and leaks are coming fast and furious now. Several components of the device have leaked out in the last two weeks, giving us an increasingly clear picture of what Apple’s next tablet will look like.
The latest leak comes from M.I.C. Gadget, who appear to have gotten their hands on a “production piece” of the iPad 3’s back shell. While the images don’t really give much in the way of new information about the device, they do confirm some of the rumors we’ve been hearing about in recent months. First off, the iPad 3 is just a little bit (1-1.5mm) thicker than the iPad 2, and has more gently rounded edges.
Also, as previously reported, the opening for the camera on the iPad 3's rear panel is noticeably bigger than that of the iPad 2, confirming reports that the iPad 3 will be getting a significant camera upgrade. Some rumors have suggested that the iPad 3 will get an 8 MP camera to match the one found in the iPhone 4S, but the opening on the rear panel doesn't quite confirm that. Interestingly, despite the iPad 3's thicker form factor, the photos appear to show that some cases designed for the iPad 2 will fit the iPad 3.
Other rumors about the iPad 3 have been all over the internet in recent days. One recent report appears to have confirmed that the device will indeed be getting a retina display, which is apparently being supplied by Samsung. Meanwhile an image of the tablet's motherboard showed the device running on an A5X processor. Questions remain as to whether this A5X is in fact the rumored quad-core processor to which references have been found in iOS 5.1 betas and in diagnostic software run on iPad 3 prototypes.
M.I.C. Gadget also cites “one of our most reliable sources” (from whom they got the iPad shell) and confirms some other details about the iPad 3. The tablet will apparently be coming in 32 GB and 64 GB capacities, and though LTE has been tested, the source suggests that it may not be coming to the iPad this time around.
Finally, the source also says that Apple has been testing a 7-inch iPad Mini. The device will have the same basic form factor as the iPad 3, cost under $400, and be aimed primarily at “developing nations like Brazil and China.” Of course, iPad Mini rumors are as old as the iPad itself. Despite Steve Jobs' famous declaration that any tablet smaller than the iPad would suffer from an identity crisis, the rumors have persisted for years. As ever, iPad Mini rumors go firmly in the “Believe it when you see it” category.
To check out more of our iPad 3 coverage, click here.