Images suggest the next full-sized Apple tablet will have a lot in common with the iPad Mini.
Journalists and attendees line up outside of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in September 2012. Many in the industry believe that the next full-size iPad could get its launch as soon as this month.
The photos appear to be of the case for the upcoming full-sized iPad. And, if the images, first published by French blog nowherseelse and subsequently picked up by a number of the major American tech sites including Appleinsider, are genuine, they confirm reports that first surfaced in January -- when details of the upcoming device's rear shell also leaked -- that the fifth generation iPad will ape the design of its little brother, the iPad Mini, and will use a smaller screen bezel to retain the existing display size while reducing its overall footprint.
Using a smaller bezel would also mean that the resulting tablet is lighter, as Apple would have to change from two rear lights to a single unit to illuminate the screen. However there is also the possibility that the company could choose an entirely different display technology, such as AMOLED, which, although more expensive than an LED illuminated LCD screen, doesn't require a separate light source and so therefore is thinner because of fewer internal components and as a result, also weighs less.
As for a potential launch date, most experts seem to believe that Apple is planning an event at the end of April and that a new iPad is the most likely announcement. However, over the past week, new, competing reports have emerged suggesting that a new range of MacBooks or even a Mac Pro could be the reason for the event and that a new iPad won't be launched until July or August.