Apple's next-generation iPad may boast only some subtle changes on the rear casing, if the latest batch of leaked photos are legit.
Posted on Chinese site Weibo this past weekend, the photos purportedly show off the rear shell of the next iPad with no earth-shaking innovations but a few tweaks in the overall design.
Once the king of the tablets, Apple has slowly been shedding market share. A July report from IDC pegged the iPad's second-quarter market share at 27 percent worldwide, down from 33 percent in the same quarter a year ago. To be sure, the company is still the dominant tablet vendor worldwide. Apple led the pack with tablet shipments of 13.3 million last quarter. But the company still needs to make sure the next iPad is innovative and engaging enough to convince consumers not to opt for cheaper rival products.
Among the tweaks seen in the photos posted on Weibo, the next iPad will allegedly increase the size of the speaker holes but rearrange them into a single row instead of the double row found on the current Air. The rear microphone will move closer to the iSight camera.
The volume controls seem to be more flush with the casing. And as noted by AppleInsider, the casing seen in the photos doesn't show a space for the usual mute/orientation lock toggle switch found on the current iPads and instead sports a tiny pinhole.
Little is known about the next-generation iPad, though the tablet will almost certainly feature a faster processor than the current model and may adopt the Touch ID fingerprint sensor found on the iPhone 5S. Apple is expected to unveil the successor to the iPad Air in October.