See that rear casing to the left up there? That's the backing to an iPad 2, a device which I'm sure many of you have seen before. There's another case to the right that looks fairly similar to the one on the left, but if Repair Labs is to be believed, that one belongs to a product that very few people have laid eyes on. The site claims that that's the rear housing of the iPad 3, which the sources of the image say is not noticeably thicker than the iPad 2's backside. What is different, explains Repair Labs, is that the iPad 3 has different logic board mounts that could allow for a larger battery in the upcoming tablet, as well as changes that could point toward a different camera and screen.
After examining the photo, the folks at The Verge have chimed in to say that what's shown in the photo mostly lines up with what they've heard from their tipsters. The site also added in a few rumors of their own courtesy of some "people familiar with the product," claiming that the new iPad will pack in a 2048x1536 display and a more powerful GPU in a package that'll be around one millimeter thicker than the iPad 2. Interestingly, The Verge's sources allege that the A6 chip found in the iPad 3 will be dual-core, not quad-core like previous rumors have claimed. The final rumor dropped by the site is that a February release for the iPad 3 is unlikely, with a March debut seeming more likely.
The final iOS-related rumor today has to do with iOS 5.1. We've seen Apple push out a few betas of iOS 5.1 so far, but exactly when the final version will be released to consumers is still up in the air. However, some carrier profiles published by iPhone operators in countries like Japan and France point toward a March 9th arrival of iOS 5.1. You can find an image showing the date in one of the profiles down below.
Last year we saw the iPad 2 unveiled in early March and then released a little over a week later, and considering how Apple is known to stick to a fairly predictable release schedule, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the iPad 3 follow in its predecessors footsteps. That could also mean that an early March arrival of iOS 5.1, since it would make sense for Apple to intro its new version of iOS along with its new tablet. Of course, like all Apple rumors, all of this information is very much still up in the air until the folks in Cupertino get on stage to make it official. When that happens, you can be sure that we'll pass along the details. Any of you think you'd be interested in picking up an iPad 3 if the above rumors hold true?