Tactus has gone from an unheard of site to one which seems to be the source of every leak and rumor over the past few weeks. It’s this sudden rise from zilch to suddenly having all the inside information that makes its claims very unlikely, and all the more dubious. So, take this one with the usual pinch of salt.
The “leaked” image above is supposedly of the 5th generation iPad’s rear shell. Like the iPad mini, it’s a slate colored aluminum shell with a flat back and curved edges. In fact, since it’s not been photographed next to an iPad mini to show the difference in size, there’s little to suggest this isn’t just the rear panel of the iPad mini. Heading on over to the iPad mini teardown by iFixit makes it clear that the two are almost identical. The only real difference is that this appears to have the plastic “window” to house the 3G/4G radios, and iFixit’s is the Wi-Fi only version.
Apologies for the poor PhotoShopping above, I just whipped the two images in to the same file for comparison purposes. Like I mentioned, there’s very little difference between them, something which seems suspicious to me from the outset. Even if the iPad 5 was a similar design to the iPad mini, having all the fixing points (screw holes etc) in the same place on two difference devices would be very unlikely. Even between the iPad 2/3/4 there are subtle changes internally as Apple changes some components which require alternative fixing methods.
One thing that caught my eye in particular was the camera hole. The cut-out size, relative the size of the iPad shell is pretty large and would certainly fit in with an iPad mini. But, if that really is the rear panel of the next 9.7-inch iPad, the camera would have to be pretty huge to fit in there.
Personally, I’m not sold on this. I’m not sold on Tactus being a trustworthy source for leaks and rumors. So, until they’re proven right, I’m going on with my belief that the site shouldn’t be taken seriously. My guess is that the back plate is either a fake (based on rumors) or simply a genuine iPad mini back plate.
What do you think?