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Wednesday, February 08, 2012, 11:40 pm PT (02:40 am ET)

Leaked photo allegedly shows outside back cover of Apple's next iPad

On the heels of an earlier purported leak of the back panel of the third-generation iPad, new leaked photos have emerged showing an external view of the back panel of the rumored device, as well as magnets for an "iPad 3" Smart Cover.

Taiwanese Apple site Apple.pro (Google Translation) published the photos on Thursday, also noting the apparent leak that occurred on Thursday. Report author Anthony Tsai said the images had been passed on to him by a foreigner.

Tsai noted that those hoping for a redesigned iPad will likely be disappointed, as the back panel appears to be nearly identical to that of the iPad 2. Interestingly enough, the photo of the alleged back panel contains no markings other than the Apple logo, possibly suggesting that it is from a test production batch.

The next iPad is widely expected to arrive in March and include a double-resolution display. There is, however, some disagreement on whether the device will include a quad-core or a dual-core A6 processor. Scattered reports have also claimed Apple will add 4G LTE compatibility to the tablet.

Alleged iPad 3 back panel


Thursday's report also claimed to include a photo of the magnets that will be implemented for a Smart Cover for the third-generation iPad. According to Tsai, the photo doesn't show a change in the "general appearance" of the cover's design.

Smart Cover


Apple released the Smart Cover alongside the iPad 2 last March. A teardown of the accessory showed that Apple employed 21 magnets in it to get it to align properly, as well as 10 magnet in the iPad 2 itself. The company updated the product last October to tweak the colors and have the interior lining match the outside cover.

Earlier reports have suggested that the third-generation iPad will maintain a close enough form factor to its predecessor so as to be compatible with the Smart Cover.