The stream of rumors pertaining to the next generation of Apple’s bestselling 9.7-inch tablet, dubbed the iPad 5, has only just begun. And the latest of such rumors comes to us in the form of unverified images obtained by 9to5Mac.

The images, which were sent to 9to5Mac by “a purported China-based iPad accessories maker,” are said to show the rear panel of the iPad 5:

While we cannot confirm that the above image is legitimate, it does provide a solid representation of what Apple’s next iPad will likely look like. We were told this is a prototype back piece for the fifth-generation iPad with a 9.7-inch display. We were also told that the casing is almost as thin as the iPad mini’s back (pictured to the right). As you can see at the top of the purported iPad 5 backplate, this casing would likely be for an LTE model – as the black antenna cut implies.

Even as they’re unconfirmed, the images do correspond with what was reported by iLounge just a few days ago and by Mac o Takara in December last year.

Looking at the images, one can surmise that the iPad 5 will have a smaller bezel as well as chamfered edges and curves similar to those of the iPad mini.

Previously, it was suggested that the iPad 5 would launch as early as this March. But more recent reports say otherwise, with most pointing to a fall launch for the iPad 5.

One such report is yesterday’s report on the possibility of a next-generation iPad with a capacity of 128 GB, which is double the current maximum.

According to noted Apple insider John Gruber, this suggests that “the iPad 5 isn’t coming until later in the year, and that this is a way for Apple to make a little news, keep the lineup fresh, and raise the bar on tablet storage capacities.”

Source: 9to5Mac