Mysterious, maybe fake 5th-gen iPad back pops up online

New part may or may not belong to the next iPad, perched next to a black iPad Mini for comparison.

What may or may not be the back of the next iPad.

(Credit: 9to5Mac)

It’s that time of year again! The lull between Apple product releases, which means — yep, you guessed it — mystery parts.

The latest, courtesy of 9to5Mac, is a little more exciting than camera modules and home buttons. In fact, it may or may not be the back of the next iPad, perched next to a black iPad Minifor comparison.

Some disclaimers: The image’s point of origin is unknown, as is its possible legitimacy. However, the little scuff marks on the back and masking tape around the antennas do nothing but add to the intrigue.

Apple is, of course, expected to roll out another new iPad later this year. In fact, it would be strange if the company didn’t. Apple’s last release of a full-size iPad came right alongside that of the iPad Mini last October, an update that brought some improved internals and the ire of those who plunked down on the third-generation model just months earlier.

The photo comes about a day after a report that Apple’s cooking up a mid-release cycle updateto its fourth-generation iPad to offer a 128GB model. That would be double the 64GB size, which is the current top-of-the-line capacity on the iPhone and iPad.

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