The following photo has appeared on JailBreakiPhone4u and is beginning to circulate across the internet. The claim in the original article is that this somehow represents an iPad 3 Prototype.
The image appears to show an iPad-like case with Apple logo, and iPad name, but with some differences to the currently shipping design. The most noticeable difference is the presence of a bulge near the bottom of the device that appears to be for a port. The area is also labeled with an ethernet port symbol. Next, based on the single shot, the device appears to be widescreen configuration. There is also no camera seen.
We tried contacting the poster to get some backstory, but with no response. Given the current information, our best guess is that this represents a knock-off / clone iPad design. It seems impossible that Apple would add an ethernet port, change the aspect ratio, or remove the camera of the iPad in the next version. The iPad 3 is rumored to be coming in 2012.
Update: As noted by German site Tablet test and a number of posters in our discussion thread, the tablet in question appears to be a Chinese Android-based tablet modeled after the iPad and then altered to appear to be an actual iPad.
Top Rated Comments
An ethernet connector is taller then the iPad is thick, even with the 'bulge'.
I just don't see it.
What I hope is that in future MacRumors spends more time investigating the sources and validity of these tips/leaks before diving headfirst in to an article.