Eyes-on report claims next iPad case will resemble iPad 2

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A new report out Tuesday claims the next iPad might be easily mistaken for its predecessor, at least with the screen off. iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz, who last year saw early prototypes of the iPad 2 case that turned out to be very close to the shipping version, reports he has again seen the future of Apple’s tablet.

The iPad 3 design Horwitz reportedly saw from an unspecified source one day prior to CES resembles the iPad 2 so closely “that differences are only obvious when they’re placed next to each other.” Horwitz reiterates that those changes include the previously reported slight, 1mm increase in device depth, as well as a slightly larger opening for the rear camera lens. That could be a problem for some tight-fitting cases, but for other accessories, compatibility shouldn’t be overly affected.

The big changes for the next iPad will reportedly be the higher-resolution screen, as well as internal changes, including the possible introduction of a quad-core A6 processor. Horwitz suggests Apple could even switch naming schemes to one that resembles the system it uses for the iPhone, i.e., adding an “S” like with the iPhone 4S to identify a revision that has a lot of under-the-hood changes but remains physically similar to its predecessor. He also notes the prototype he managed to check out could be as many as six months old, so Apple may have changed things considerably since then.

A lot of the early reports seem to indicate this update will be one with minor cosmetic changes, but with big tweaks to performance, cameras and the display. I think all other elements aside, a higher-resolution screen will make this an upgrade that appeals to a lot of consumers. What are your thoughts on whether or not to upgrade, based on what we’ve heard so far?

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