Rumors about Apple working on an iPad 5 with an iPad mini style design have been on the web for several weeks now. However, images of a purported iPad 5 case, based off of recent rumors suggests that the updated version of the current 9.7” tablet will carry a slimmer and lighter profile as well as a thinner bezel.
The “iPad 5” case, which was created by Apple accessory manufacturer MiniSuit shows what appears to be a thinner and flatter design, similar to the rear shell of the current iPad mini. The company notes that they created the case based on specs that they received from reliable sources.
In the images of the iPad 5 case, there appears to be a hole directly in the center of the case, suggesting that Apple may have relocated the mic from the top of the iPad (where it is now) to the backside. The back of the iPad is a more convenient location, easier to build and picks up sound when talking on FaceTime or recording video.
With the iPad 5, Apple is expected to retain the same 9.7” screen, while reducing the bezels as on the iPad mini. Apple may also have to rearrange the internal components and put in smaller chips and processors in order to make the device thinner than the current generation.
It is unclear when Apple plans to announce the release date for the new iPad 5 or even the rumored iPad mini refresh, however, it is likely that the 9.7” tablet will arrive anytime between March and October of this year. Prior to this timeframe, case manufacturers will begin to develop cases based entirely on speculations and rumors. Although Apple does release the specs after releasing the device, a number of case manufacturers generate more income by selling cases on the first official day an iPad is available.