Cases listed on international business-to-business trade site Alibaba.com, which are rumored to be for the second-generation iPad, were removed earlier this week after the site received a “legitimate takedown request” and was ordered to remove the listings. Although a spokesman for the Alibaba Group declined to disclose the source of the request, the fact that the site was ordered to remove the “iPad 2” case listings could mean that the cases were giving away some of Apple’s secrets about the upcoming device.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, several listings for the next-generation cases had been removed from the Alibaba.com site by Friday, although at least two remained as of Friday afternoon in Beijing. Alibaba spokesman, John Spelich, said the company is working on having all of the listings removed. “We do not know whether these products are what they say they are, but we have received a legitimate takedown request and are removing the listings,” Spelich told the Journal.
The Journal contacted one of the case suppliers who claimed that his company works with Apple manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, and is able to obtain details on the features of the new iPad. The man declined to give his name and declared the matter was “very serious.” Spokespeople for Hon Hai called the case seller’s remarks “hostile” and denied any connections between the company and the Alibaba.com case listings.
Cases for the “iPad 2” were spotted online earlier this month with notable features including a cutout for a rear-facing camera, a flat back, and a space at the bottom near the speaker that could be for an SD card slot. The cases discovered on Alibaba.com featured illustrations of an enlarged speaker grille on the rear of the device.
The latest rumors surrounding the next version of Apple’s hugely successful tablet suggest that the device could include a USB port and be available as Wi-Fi, UTMS, and CDMA models.