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The next iPad is expected to have some of the mini's qualities, including the thinner casing, black & slate/white & silver design language and chamfered edges

March is approaching, and typically, that means a new iPad launch from Apple. Rumor has it that the release of the next-generation iPad may come a bit later this year, but 9 to 5 Mac has managed to get its hands on some photos that supposedly reveal the new device's design.

According to the report, an iPad accessories maker in China released some photos of what appears to be the back plate for the fifth-generation iPad. It's not clear if this is the real deal yet, but 9 to 5 Mac seems to think that the outcome will closely mirror this leaked version.

The back plate is 9.7 inches, which is true to all of Apple's other iPad sizes (with the exception of the recently released iPad mini). However, the new iPad expected to have some of the mini's qualities, including the thinner casing, black & slate/white & silver design language and chamfered edges.

The top of the back plate also has a black antenna cut for an LTE model.

While Apple typically releases its next-generation iPad in March or April of each year, that may not be the case this time around. Instead, Apple is releasing a 128GB fourth-generation iPad next month, while a fifth-generation release may be slated for later this year (October). The 128GB will cost $799 with Wi-Fi only, or $929 with LTE.

The delay could be due to Apple's slew of product launches last year, including both the new iPad and the iPad mini. Also, with the 128GB fourth-generation launch, Apple is likely looking to push the envelope when it comes to tablet storage.

Here are a few shots of the new back plate:

Source: 9 to 5 Mac





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