Blass did not provide any information on the render, aside from the cryptic message "Seems to be something missing from this (encased) iPad..." which perhaps hints that he received the render from a case maker. Blass typically only shares leaks that he believes are from credible sources.
Seems to be something missing from this (encased) iPad... pic.twitter.com/n0esVAOBkq— Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 23, 2018
Case manufacturers often create renders and dummy models of devices ahead of their debut in order to be the first to come out with new accessories and cases for freshly launched devices. Much of the time, these kinds of leaks are accurate because there's a lot of money at stake, but there can be serious misses.
In this case, with no accompanying information, there's no way to determine whether or not this design is indicative of what a future iPad might look like. There is no notch or cutout for the camera, and the device is depicted running an older version of iOS, but for a simple rendering to show off a case, these features wouldn't matter. The lack of a front-facing camera and no visible notch in this particular render, if accurate, are not indicative of Apple's plans.
Rumors have indeed suggested Apple is working on an iPad Pro that's similar in design to what's pictured in the rendering. Apple is said to be planning to launch an iPad Pro with thinner bezels, a faster processor, a custom Apple-built GPU, and most importantly, Face ID.
With Face ID, the next-generation iPad Pro will not need a Home button, providing more room for the display. Future iPad Pro models are expected to come in physical sizes similar to the existing 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and based on icon spacing, the rendering appears to depict the larger iPad Pro.
Exact display sizing for future iPad Pro models is unknown as of yet, but a recent rumor from Taiwan's Economic Daily News has suggested the smaller of the two tablets could feature an 11-inch display. Apple would not need to increase the actual size of the iPad Pro to introduce a larger display if the bezels are smaller.
Apple is believed to be planning to introduce new iPad Pro models sometime in the second half of the year. Bloomberg has suggested the devices will debut sometime after June, perhaps in September, while other sources have predicted a June WWDC launch.
Update: It appears the "rendering" is a fake photoshopped image, as it spotted in an auction listing for a 10.5-inch iPad Pro case along with the original image that was photoshopped. Evan Blass has deleted his original tweet.
Good find. I need to have a talk with someone. https://t.co/c41dHZdjEn— Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 23, 2018