We won’t spend too much time on this rumor, since we really can’t confirm it and it’s hard to say why an iPad 3 would be out in the wild pre-CES. Still, it comes from the EiC at iLounge, so we figure it deserves at least some credit.
According to his hands-on, the new iPad is nothing new on the outside. He likens it to the iPhone 4S upgrade to the iPhone 4. The differences are there, but barely noticeable, and most are under the hood.
It’s about 1mm thicker than the previous model, if the report is accurate. The camera in the rear will be improved as well, and a bit larger, but this would likely only be noticeable next to an iPad 2. It’s said to look like the camera on the iPhone 4S, but without the flash.
It’s said that the screen will be just a tad smaller, but improved. However, iLounge’s editor said it didn’t appear smaller to him.
However, he does add some things. These do cast a bit of doubt. First, he says that it doesn’t look like a major enough change to be considered an iPad 3. If Apple went the iPhone route, they could simply call it the iPad 2S or HD or some other variation of iPad 2. He also notes that the device looked about a year old. Perhaps it showed some signs of use. This means it’s not newly-manufactured, also casting some doubt.
It’s hard to say at this point, but we wouldn’t think too much of it. Just take it as it is and move on. This isn’t the first time a device rumored to be a next-gen iPad shows up around CES.