Photographs of what is allegedly a leaked iPad 5 back plate have emerged online.

The images are thought to have come from a China-based iPad accessories maker, and show a possible iPad 5 back plate that takes its design from the iPad mini, reports 9To5Mac. The part is apparently almost as thin as the iPad mini's back plate, also pictured for comparison purposes.

The black antenna cut that can be seen at the top of the iPad 5 back plate in the photo suggests that the casing is intended to be used for an LTE 4G capable model of the tablet.

The photos follow earlier reports that claim a new iPad 5 with a "stretched iPad mini" design is in the works at Apple, ahead of an October launch. The next iPad could also use new screen technology in order to achieve the thinner design, and will have a full internal redesign, including a more power efficient processor.

Previously, speculation suggested that the iPad 5 could arrive alongside a Retina iPad mini 2 in March.

9To5Mac notes that, if Apple is in fact planning a spring launch for the iPad 5, it's likely that leaked parts such as the back plate shown in the photos would now begin to surface in China. Also worth highlighting is the first appearance of accurate leaked iPhone 5 back plates last year, which came five months ahead of the device's official launch.

Just yesterday, we reported that images of alleged leaked iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 parts have been published online, and the release of iOS 6.1 hinted at a possible 128GB iPad or iPhone launch in the near future.

See also:

iPad 5 rumour rollup for the week of 21 January
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