Apple iPad 3 set for March launch as photos emerge

Leaked shots of the new device's shell prompt debate about its specifications

LAST UPDATED AT 15:51 ON Thu 9 Feb 2012

WITH rumours that the long-awaited iPad 3 could be launched in March, it will come as no surprise that 'unauthorised' images of the new device have begun finding their way onto the internet.

Pictures, supposedly of the shell of the new device, have surfaced on several websites today, prompting speculation about its specifications.

Taiwanese website Apple Pro posted shots it claimed were of the back casing of the iPad 3. It featured no markings apart from the Apple logo and MacWorld noted that it looked "exactly like that of the iPad 2".

Rather more interesting were pictures of the inside of the casing published on another tech site, Repair Labs. It drew several conclusions by comparing the housing in the leaked photo to the housing of an iPad 2. After studying pictures it said the new model would have a larger battery, a differently-shaped logic board, a new camera and a redsigned LCD.

There have been rumours for some time that the new iPad will have a screen with a much higher resolution than the current model, and that appears to tally with what the images of the casing show. However, many observers say the leaked shots suggest that the new iPad will not have a quad-core processor.

However, while most Apple-related blogs are having a field-day, some are unhappy with the quality of the leak. "What is obviously disappointing is that the photo shows very little as the site apparently didn't take the time to take a picture either with a side-on or top down view that would offer a glimpse as to any thickness or shape changes in the new device," moans AppleBitch.

The shots have also prompted speculation about when the new iPad will be launched. The website All Things D claims Apple "has chosen the first week in March to debut the successor to the iPad 2".

"My guess is retail availability will follow roughly the same schedule as that of the iPad 2: Available for purchase a week or so after the event," writes John Paczkowski. · 

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