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The last few days have given us plenty of rumors concerning what the next iPhone may look like; now it's the iPad's turn. While the leaks for the iPhone all point to a larger screen, One More Thing notes (via Cult of Mac) that the latest supposed iPad leak from a source in China points to a thinner device than ever as Apple seems to be using integrated displays for the first time.
By contrast, Apple currently uses separate components for the LCD screen and surrounding panel for the iPad and the iPad mini. If the photos are accurate, Apple could start integrating them both into one a single glass sheet.
At first glance, it looks as though Apple's trying to make the device even thinner than it already is. The present iPad Air's front panel setup already measures just 1.55mm, and the extra space gained from combining the two components could result in an even lighter unit.
But it's also possible there's a more practical reasoning for the integrated display. The thinner panel could allow Apple to maintain the same thickness of the original iPad Air while improving it to support a stronger battery or more memory, which would alleviate some concerns about frequent app crashes with the current model.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.