The iPad 5 — Apple’s next-generation full-sized tablet — is slimming down, but not decreasing in screen size.
The first photos of a rear shell popped up online Monday, showing a similar, slimmer backing that looks like a larger version of the iPad Mini. 9to5 Mac published the unconfirmed photos.
While we cannot confirm that the above image is legitimate, it does provide a solid representation of what Apple’s next iPad will likely look like. We were told this is a prototype back piece for the fifth-generation iPad with a 9.7-inch display. We were also told that the casing is almost as thin as the iPad mini’s back (pictured to the right). As you can see at the top of the purported iPad 5 backplate, this casing would likely be for an LTE model – as the black antenna cut implies.
MacRumors updated the report later Monday with new photos of iPad 5 backings, showing that the backing is significantly smaller in size that the current iPad — which lines up with rumor reports from the past two weeks.
As pointed out on Blorge yesterday, Apple’s next full-sized iPad will have a smaller bevel around the side, which would allow Apple to make the iPad smaller while maintaing the same screen size.
By slimming down and shrinking the casing, Apple will be able to make the iPad significantly lighter, which is one of the top features of the iPad Mini.
Apple is also expected to update the iPad Mini alongside the new full-sized iPad. Updates should include the addition of a Retina display and a faster processor.