The news came from 9to5Mac, which reported based on a set of purported leaked photos of the back plate of the next-gen iPad. It stated the device appeared to be heavily influenced by the aesthetics of the iPad mini. The report said that the photos, obtained from “a purported China-based iPad accessories maker,” could not be confirmed as legitimate right away, but they did “provide a solid representation of what Apple’s next iPad will likely look like.”
The unidentified source told the publication that the back plate in question was a prototype for the iPad 5 with a 9.7-inch display. The source also revealed that the casing is nearly as thin as the iPad mini’s back. In addition, a black antenna cut to the top of the plate visible in the photos also suggested that the parts belonged to a model that includes 4G LTE connectivity.
According to a report from Slashgear, the iPad 5 black plates shown in the photos were too different to be true. The report said that “with slightly rounder corners and a flattened color back (black in this case), we’re seeing Apple change while it stays the same.”
In another report, the website pointed out that while the iPad 5 could feature the same 9.7-inch display, Apple might bring it in a smaller package.
The report came up with a “size comparison photo” showing that the iPad 5 could be “slightly shorter and significantly narrower than the fourth-gen iPad.” On the other hand, if the 9.7-inch display does become a reality, it’s possible that “the iPad 5 may come with a thinner bezel all the way around, similar to the bezel design of the iPad mini.”
“It’s not all that surprising, though, and it makes sense that Apple is looking to unify the look and design between the iPad and the iPad mini, by making the larger iPad a bit smaller and sleeker and giving it a black matte finish on the back,” the report added.
As far as the release date for iPad 5 is concerned, many earlier reports said that the device would be launched in March this year. However, recent reports have suggested that the release could be delayed till October.
Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge reported last week that Apple was planning an October release for the iPad 5, after initially planning for a March launch.
Horwitz also said that the iPad 5 would be a completely redesigned device with “virtually no left or right bezels, and only enough space above and below the screen to accommodate the mandatory camera and Home Button elements.”
According to him, the design of the new iPad would be similar to that of the iPad mini with similar “chamfered edges and curves” together with the slimmed down bezel.
Here’s an excerpt of Horwitz’s report:
“Beyond that, it’s noticeably thinner, as well, which is to say the fifth-generation iPad will be smaller in every dimension than its predecessors. As it will have the same chamfered edges and curves, calling it a ‘stretched iPad mini’ is very close to entirely accurate… The changes are so considerable that a new screen technology, such as IGZO, seems like a given. Going Retina for the third-generation iPad forced Apple to make that tablet a little thicker than the iPad 2, in part to seriously beef up the battery.”