9to5Mac today received a photo taken of the back plate of Apple's next generation iPad. According to the China-based iPad accessory maker, the image shows a prototype back piece of the redesigned iPad. In addition, the casing is said to be as thin as the iPad mini.
The photo appears to be in line with what we've reported so far, that the fifth generation iPad will have a similar design as the iPad mini. Macotakara's sources indicate that the new iPad will be 4mm shorter, 17mm narrower and 2mm thinner than the current model. The launch date is rumored to be in March, a time frame which Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets also claims.
Besides the inclusion of a smaller Lightning port, the design of the fourth generation iPad is nearly identical to its predecessor and may come across as boring. It is about time for Apple to come up with a new look for its next iPad, and adopting the super thin and light form factor of the iPad mini seems to be a wise decision.