Photos claim to expose inside, outside of iPad 3

Are we peering inside the iPad 3, while seeing design tweaks to the outside too?

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

A couple of reports today claim to expose more pieces of the iPad 3's design puzzle.

The first is a purported photo of the next-generation iPad's circuit board. If legitimate, the chip inside the next iPad--let's call it the iPad 3--is dubbed the "A5X" not the A6 as has been rumored.

So, who cares what the chip is called you might ask? Well, barring a Photoshopped rendering of the board, this could lend credence to the speculation in some quarters that the iPad 3 won't be quad-core but a souped-up dual-core chip.

And that then leads to some more interesting speculation. Is Apple focusing more on the graphics side of the chip equation to drive all of those pixels on the iPad 3's eye-popping 2,048-by-1,536-pixel display? In other words, is Apple devoting more chip real estate to the graphics engine or other specialized cores rather than a symmetric quad-core chip design?

The next item in the rumor hopper is the iPad 3's case. An ostensible photo of the case shows a design not that different than the iPad 2's but with some small tweaks around the edges--possibly a more "beveled" look.

Maybe more interesting are the claims about a larger rear camera lens.

In addition to the rumored changes cited above, other expected iPad 3 specs include 4G LTE connectivity and a launch date of March 7.

(Via Macrumors and AppleInsider)