In Mid-July, parts for a claimed iPad 3 surfaced, unleashing a slew of rumors suggesting that Apple was planning a release for the next generation iPad as early as October. When such speculation failed to materialize, the new rumored date for release is expected to be early 2012, quite possibly February.
On Thursday, new images of what appears to be a ribbon and a dock connector for the claimed iPad 3 have once again surfaced, giving way to a whole new plethora of rumors, suggesting that Apple is now manufacturing the devices or already has prototypes of the iPad 3.
Another image of the iPad’s power button flex cable has surfaced alongside the images from July, leading to more speculation. Cydia Blog reported on Thursday that these parts are now only 2-3 pieces of multiple pieces of the iPad, including the microphone flex cable, which are available through a Chinese parts dealer, TVC-Mall.com.
The new part, when compared with iPad 2, shows a different arrangement in internal circuitry, hinting a major re-design. The tail end of the part makes a “U-turn”, whereas the iPad 2′s Microphone Mic Flex Cable makes almost 90-degree turn both ways. Except for few details, the leaked part so far doesn’t offer a tantalizing tease.
Changes to the internal features of the iPad does not suggest that the exterior will be different, as the iPad 2 underwent a major design change from the original iPad, adding on 2 cameras, and a new thin exterior. The iPad may undergo small changes on the 3G model, moving to universal support for carriers, possibly adding on Sprint to its current offerings from AT&T and Verizon.
The iPad is very likely to retain its same form factor, although many reports in the past have suggested that the iPad may be thicker to support more features than the current iPad 2. If that was to be true, there is no doubt that Apple would be upgrading the iPad camera to anything above a 3 mega pixel. The iPad is rumored to launch early next year, with Apple’s A6 chip (which debuts concurrently with iPad announcements), and camera upgrades.