We wouldn’t put a lot of stock in this one yet, but a new internal component has leaked out of Asia, and given certain key differences in item number and color, it’s said to be the dock connector for the upcoming iPad 2 Plus/iPad 3, the rumored Retina Display upgrade for the iPad 2, also rumored to have a release later in this year.
Chinese Apple site Apple Pro, which has a record leaking such parts, says that the item is significantly different from the iPad 2, and therefore for a “brand new design.”
Apple.pro’s record is spotty at best. They correctly leaked the new touchscreen iPod Nano, but other reports about a 15-inch MacBook Air and a new MacBook casing have not panned out.
If this part is legit, it would seem to suggest that Apple is indeed close to going to manufacturing with a new iPad aimed at pro users. Commenters like Daring Fireball’s John Gruber have often suggested that it would make sense for Apple to turn the iPad into a family of products, like the MacBook or iPod line of products.
Could this part be the first concrete proof that that supposition is right? We’re not willing to bet on it, but if Foxconn’s already making new iPad parts, it certainly suggests we could be seeing a real product in the next three months.
[via Apple Insider].