updated 11:10 am EST, Sun March 4, 2012
iPad 3 externals assembled in hint of future
Various part leaks for the next iPad came full circle on Sunday after a project successfully melded several parts together. MIC Gadget was able to get the front, back, and glass of the future Apple tablet assembled to prove that they were part of a cohesive design. As already suspected, the new iPad's case was just slightly thicker than its predecessor, although a more gradually tapered back could make it feel thinner in the hand.
The site further claimed to have support from its own sources that capacities and prices would remain intact. It cast doubt on the tablet having LTE due to possible cost hikes for the chipset, although this appeared to be more self-reinforcing speculation among those involved than a claim to knowledge. Historically reliable sources have pointed to LTE shipping with new iPads, not next year.
They did purportedly know that an Apple TV update was coming in tandem with the new iPad. It believed an A5X chip and not an A6 was coming, but it would be built on "lower nanometer manufacturing," most likely the 28-nanometer process from TSM. Such a shift to cooler, denser manufacturing would let Apple either go to a quad-core design or significantly higher clock speeds without sacrificing battery life or heat.
Some cases will require changes due to the altered back, the examination found, although a test with Apple's Smart Cover has suggested that it should work on the future iPad without problems.
While the internals of the next iPad have yet to be truly seen, despite the new leak briefly thinking it had X-rays of the shell, they're expected to mostly be a refinement of the iPad 2's design with more backlighting for the 2048x1536 display, new internal connectors, and other minor optimizations.