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iPad 3 to have a thicker casing, A5X SoC instead of A6?

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What appear to be images of the iPad 3's casing and logic board have appeared on M.I.C. Gadget.

mic gadget ipad 3
mic gadget ipad 3

We've seen some images of the interior of Apple's iPad 3 casing design, and now what appear to be photos of the exterior are making the rounds, courtesy of M.I.C. Gadget. The design doesn't stray too far from iPad 2 territory, but it is noticeably thicker (presumably to accommodate LTE), with a more tapered shape. Although the angle presented in these images makes the difference in thickness seem quite stark, most rumors we've seen suggest the change will only be a matter of a millimeter or two.


Additionally, MacRumors found a posting at WeiPhone purporting to show the logic board for the iPad 3. The most interesting part is the large "A5X" label on the main chip. While some were expecting the new SoC to be named the A6, A5X would fit in with Apple's pattern of incrementally improving a product before advancing the model number: Leopard to Snow Leopard, iPhone 3G to 3GS and 4 to 4S, and now Lion to Mountain Lion, for example. The A5X number, as well as the incremental step in actual part numbers, has led many to speculate that there could be a dual-core chip inside instead of a quad-core chip. That would match up with intel we heard some time ago, however it's also entirely possible that this is a prototype board and that the widely-rumored quad-core A6 chip is still in the works. Luckily, with a rumored release date of March 7th, we shouldn't have much longer to wait until it all comes clear.