It appears that Apple remains unable to crack down on major leaks ahead of its future product launches. The latest plausible evidence of this is images that are purportedly of the next major iPad redesign uncovered by 9to5Mac. In line with recent rumors to the effect, the redesign follows the design language of the iPad mini, which includes a narrower side bezel that would take advantage of Apple’s thumb rejection software.
While images like this should always be treated with a grain of salt, the photos have the whiff of legitimacy with the side and interior shots of the rear panel resembling teardowns of the innards of the iPad mini. The model in question appears to be from the back of an iPad with cellular connection as given away by the black plastic cover in place of the aluminum at the top. If accurate, it will go a long way to reducing the 'wow' factor when it launches, as did the endless early leaks of the iPhone 5 redesign.
Rumors about when Apple plans to launch the all-new iPad with Retina display vary considerably with some pinning it for a March launch, while others expect it to be launched closer to the middle of the year. Apple surprised with its refresh of the larger iPad, which coincided with the launch of the iPad mini. At the time it replaced the legacy 30-pin adapter port with a new Lightning port, while also giving the device a substantial performance boost with the quad-core A6X.
Evidence also points to a new iPad launching with 128GB of storage, further differentiating the larger iPad from Android tablets as well as its own iPad mini. At this stage, the storage upgrade appears to be headed to the current iPad 4. With competition in the tablet space tougher than ever, it seems as though Apple is readying itself for the next round of skirmishes in order to maintain its market lead.