The first third-party case images have surfaced for Apple’s rumored 5th-gen iPad, revealing an iPad mini-like design consistent with previous rumors (via 9t05Mac, MacRumors). According to case manufacturer MiniSuit, the case is based on design specs received from a “reputable source.” Case manufacturers frequently obtain design specs ahead of schedule to get an edge on manufacturing accessories for upcoming devices.
The case design is consistent with previously leaked real shell photos for the next iPad, furthering the suggestion that the next iPad will be thinner and lighter than the iPad 4, and very similar to the iPad mini. Among the notable design cues are a slimmer iPad mini-like side bezel. It’s worth noting that creating a case based on leaked measurements is a significant risk. Make such leaks end up being inaccurate – much like the leaked case designs for the “iPhone 5” before it was released.
Also notable is that the design features a microphone hole on the rear, suggesting a relocated (or additional) microphone to aid in video recording. This also matches up with design cues from the leaked next-gen iPad rear casing. While the leaks and rumors so far are consistent, it’s always worth keeping in mind that nothing is official until Apple reveals the next-gen tablet themselves.
Most rumors suggest that the next-gen iPad will launch sometime this Fall, although MiniSuit claims it will be released in June. I suppose we’ll have to wait until then to get to the real truth of the matter – although it would hardly be surprising if Apple did, in fact, redesign their full-sized tablet to be more similar to the iPad mini.
Only time will tell! A gallery containing more images of the leaked case design can be found below (via 9to5Mac).