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iPad 5 prototype leaks, resembles iPad Mini design

A single image of what we’re told is the iPad 5 has leaked online, revealing a little about the direction in which Apple is heading with its popular tablet devices.

The image, which popped up on social networks Weibo and Twitter, depicts the rear casing of the new 9.7-inch iOS tablet. The design is a familiar one and that’s because it’s essentially the iPad Mini but scaled up to a larger display. Apple looks set to follow the design it introduced late last year with the smaller tablet, including the slate and white back covers.

As with the iPad Mini there are edges that are more squared – yet still nicely rounded – along with black buttons and a glossy black Apple logo. The rear camera looks to have been moved slightly to the top left corner and we’re hearing that the module itself will be an upgraded 8 megapixel one.

Other reports suggest that Apple’s new iPad will get a processor upgrade to the Cupertino Company’s own A7 chip, though any other internal changes will be minor. The main change on the agenda for Apple’s next iPad is design, and it seems that this look will continue through the next generation of iPad and iPad Mini. It’s also very likely that the device will come with Apple’s recently revealed iOS 7.

Cases for the iPad have also started to show up from third party manufacturers, backing up the design change shown in the prototype pic. These cases show that Apple’s next iPad will be 15% lighter and thinner than the current fourth generation model with Retina display.

Apple had a habit of launching a new iPad every March but that tradition broke last year when the iPad 4 arrived in November. On that basis we’re expecting to see the iPad 5 arriving around that time again this year, after the launch of the new iPhone a few months prior.

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