Media event set for September 9, launch likely ~10 days later.
Claimed Next-Generation iPad Cases Suggest Rear-Facing Camera, SD Card Slot? [Updated]
One image comes from Shenzhen MacTop Electronics (via iLounge) and depicts the rear shell of a white case claimed to be for the next-generation iPad. An opening in the top left corner of the case suggests that, if the case design is based on actual knowledge of the product, the next iPad will feature a rear-facing camera.
A front-facing camera has been widely expected to be included in the next-generation iPad as Apple seeks to expand availability of its FaceTime video chat service, but there have been conflicting reports as to whether the company will also include a rear-facing camera.
The case also features an opening on the side in the location of the mute switch and volume rocker on the present model, as well as an opening in the center of the bottom, presumably for the dock connector. A second, larger opening is located to the left of the dock connector, in the present location of the device's speaker.
A second image, posted at Kodawarisan [Google translation], shows a pair of back shells in white and black for cases also claimed to be for the next-generation iPad. As in the other image, these cases show an opening for a rear-facing camera in the top left corner.
Also visible is a hole at the right side of the top edge of the case in the location of the headphone jack on the current model, as well as a side opening in the location of the current mute switch and volume rocker, although the opening appears smaller than would be required for the present layout. While accommodation for the dock connector is not readily visible in this image, the mysterious large opening to the left of the dock is present.
Interestingly, the description accompanying the image makes mention not only of a FaceTime camera but also an SD card slot. It is unknown, however, whether the opening at the bottom left is intended to be for such a slot. The current iPad lacks an SD card slot, with Apple offering a $29 kit providing a pair adapters to allow users to move photos to their iPads via either SD card or USB through the device's dock connector.
Update: Repair firm Powerbook Medic has discovered another set of claimed next-generation iPad silicone cases also showing a hole for a rear-facing camera and a rectangular cutout serving an unknown purpose in the same locations as the other cases.
Update 2: A video showing off several versions of the "Crystal Case" previously cited by iLounge has also been posted.
Update 3: M.I.C gadget has posted even more photos of silicone cases claimed to be for the next-generation iPad.