The rumor mills have been flying that the iPad 3 is in the works and set for a reveal sometime this March. Now, some pictures and video have surfaced of a new aluminum case that looks suspiciously Apple-like, but definitely different from the iPad 2.
The guys over at Macotakara[JP] and iLab Factory[JP] have posted images of a new aluminum case which appears to have a slightly different depth for its LCD panel, adding 1mm to the thickness of the back panel, but making adjustments for a slightly thinner LCD panel – reportedly this 2048×1536 panel from Sharp – which fits into the case perfectly. The images do nothing to confirm rumors of a Retina Display, but the changes to the case depth indicate there is clearly a change coming to the display panel itself.
In addition, it looks like the camera opening has changed, possibly to support a new, higher quality (and possibly wide-screen) camera.
It also looks like refinements have been made to the dock connector, improving its rigidity – which should make it less likely that you’ll accidentally yank out the dock connector.
So are these images of parts from the actual iPad 3? Will there be an iPad 2S first, with minor refinements to the iPad 2? Or is this just some knock-off clone being made in China? Only time will tell.