Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming down to the camera, display, and battery life.
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Report of Hands-On with iPad 3 Rear Shell and Other Components
The parts, which seem to include the rear shell and front glass bezel, reportedly corroborate iLounge's earlier claims of an almost imperceptibly thicker body and an upgraded iPhone-like rear camera.
The new iPad’s body is so slightly thicker than the iPad 2 that the change is unnoticeable on first inspection; a roughly 1mm increase will barely be perceptible to users. We’ve heard that the only accessories that might have issues are cases, and then, only cases that were precisely contoured to fit the iPad 2’s back. On the rear, the camera in the upper left corner has become bigger—noticeably so when placed alongside the iPad 2, but not so huge that anyone would think they were different at a distance. The new camera hole is silver-ringed, and does in fact look the same size as the iPhone 4S’s much-improved rear camera system, minus the LED flash.iLounge's Jeremy Horwitz reports that some accessory manufacturers are claiming that the iPad 3 will come with a slightly smaller screen, but a front glass bezel seen by Horwitz fails to support that notion. Otherwise, the locations of all external features of the iPad 3 remain identical to those on the iPad 2.
Previous leak of claimed iPad 3 display
Horwitz cautions that the rear shell part he was able to view seems to have been produced at least six months ago and thus may not represent the final design for the next-generation iPad, which he notes could be called the iPad 3 or perhaps some variation on the iPad 2 name. But the parts do apparently support iLounge's existing claims of Apple's design tweaks for the next-generation iPad, which many are expecting to debut around March of this year.