iPad 5 case leak points to iPad-mini style design

New images of iPad 5 cases seem to suggest that the new device will look like the iPad mini

With the iPad 5 almost definitely going to be released this year, the rumours now are all around the look and specification of Apple's new tablet.

One of the consistent themes has been that the iPad Mini will provide the inspiration for the iPad 5. It makes a lot of sense, as the existing iPad design has been around since the iPad 2 and stuck for the most recent model, the iPad 4, and isn't quite as fresh-looking as the newer smaller tablet.

While we've only seen rumours and some mock-ups suggesting the new design route, people have recently been getting more excited as new case mock-ups have been spotted that seem to confirm the new style.

Case manufacturers often get case specs early on, so that they can start the manufacturing process and be ready when the new tablet is launched. While this can be a bit of a gamble, designing a case without seeing the product, the companies that get it right have an early head-start and can make a killing from the first sales.

First, BGR reported images found on Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce site, seemed to confirm that the iPad 5 would be styled on the iPad Mini.

Alibaba iPad 5 case

Secondly, Apple accessory manufacturer MiniSuit sent images of its new case designs to MacRumors. It told the site that the designs are based on leaked specifications, which it believes are accurate. As you can see from the image below, the iPad 5 case certainly follows the design cues for the iPad Mini.

MiniSuit iPad 5 case

MiniSuit's iPad 5 case is clearly designed for a larger tablet based on the iPad Mini's design

The leaked case pictures have also fuelled speculation that the iPad 5 will be launched in June. Case manufacturers tend to only start developing prototypes close to launch, when the details and specifications are a bit more certain. With cases coming out now, an October launch for the iPad 5, as some sites have mooted, would be too late, but June would be spot on.

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