Following last weekend's leak of a brief video that claimed to show the front and rear panels of the iPad 5, new images that offer a clear look at what appears to be a similar front panel have surfaced. Repair company Macfixit Australia has listed a product page for an "iPad 5 Digitizer" that the site's supplier claims is the legitimate front panel from Apple's next iPad.
The product page notes that this panel's display area is the same as the one found on the Retina iPad. The listing goes on to explain that the bezels of the frame are narrower than previous iPad models and the connectors have been changed from the Flat Flexible Cable of previous iPads to a Flexible Printed Circuit design that's similar to the iPhone 4 and 5. Finally, the photos show that this iPad front panel features a stamp that reads "821-1892-02." According to MacRumors, that part number lines up with the format used by Apple on other parts of iOS hardware.
Rumors of an iPad 5 redesign date all the way back to January. At that time, a report claimed that Apple was planning to makeover its full-size iPad and give it a look similar to the iPad mini, which features narrower size bezels and either a slate or silver backside. A large rear panel leaked out earlier this year that looked like it belonged to a larger iPad mini, and now it appears as though we've got the front panel to match it.
This purported iPad 5 redesign will remain a rumor until Apple officially announces its next iOS tablet, but it would make sense for the full-size iPad to undergo such a makeover. After all, the device's current design hasn't changed much since the iPad 2, and the recent arrival of the iPad mini creates the opportunity to transplant that model's design to the big iPad. It also gives Apple the chance to bring the full-size iPad design in line with other iOS hardware like the iPhone and iPod touch, which also share characteristics with the iPad mini.
Recent reports have suggested that the new iPad could debut as early as September, but so far there's been no concrete evidence to support those claims. Until we hear more, you can find additional photos at the Macfixit Australia link below.