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Case builds for slimmer iPad 5

Case designs popping up in Hong Kong and online add to the pile of evidence that a skinnier slate is in the works.

Purported iPad 5 cases spotted in Hong Kong and on speculative gadget accessory wonderland suggest again that the next generation of Apple's slate will be slimmer than its forebears.

Engadget claims to have gotten its hands on one of the cases at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. According to the site, the case suggests that the new iPad will have the same screen size, but thinner side bezels.

Dozens of iPad 5 cases already are listed on Alibaba, a direct connection to Chinese suppliers that crank out just about every iDevice accessory imaginable, often way ahead of schedule.

Recently we heard that thinner backlights could be behind the slimming down of the iPad 5, which is believed to pack a 9.7-inch screen.

There's also this reportedly leaked photo, which looks like something out of a low-budget horror flick. It shows an alleged thinner iPad screen, which lends further credence to the notion of the upcoming skinny slate.