Aside from last year’s predictions for an all-new iPhone 5, case manufacturers have traditionally been a good source of information for forthcoming Apple devices. Take the iPad 2, for example. We had a good idea what the device would look like before it launched thanks to cases produced by several Chinese manufacturers.
It’s no surprise to us, then, that manufacturers are already building cases for the third-generation iPad, but what do they say about Apple’s next device? Well, it’ll be called the “iPad 2S,” rather than the “iPad 3,” according to this particular manufacturer. And it’ll look much the same as the iPad 2, only 1mm thicker.
This case comes from a Chinese manufacturer called Chinee, which has already begun selling several accessories via its website. It believes that instead of an all-new iPad 3 this year, we’ll see an iPad 2S, presumably featuring a similar design as the iPad 2 but with improvements to its internals — much like the iPhone 4S.
Chinee offers three iPad 2S cases in total, all of which are designed for a device that’s 1mm thicker than the iPad 2. According to 9to5Mac, Chinee claims that its case design knowledge came from sources within Apple’s supply chain.
If true, that means specifications for Apple’s next iPad are already being circulated, and that it won’t be too long before the device gets its unveiling. This strengthens previous reports that have claimed the next iPad will be unveiled early this year, with an announcement scheduled for late February.
However, it could be that these cases were simply built based on rumors. We’ve heard numerous reports that claim the next iPad will look identical to its predecessor, but will be ever so slightly thicker to accommodate a Retina Display and other improvements, like a new camera, LTE connectivity, and Apple’s quad-core A6 processor.
And before you begin thinking that manufacturers wouldn’t just throw their money and resources into baseless rumors, just remember that early last year, one case manufacturer produced 50,000 cases for an iPhone 5 without any official confirmation of its design. We’re still waiting for that device.