The website devoted to patents from Apple, Patently Apple reports an image of an iPad that showed up in China's patent data base, that features a dock connector on both the portrait side and the landscape side. The picture, seen below, also shows off what appears to be a front facing camera.
However, Macrumors attempts to disprove this being the next iPad. They claim that the dot that appears to represent the front facing camera is actually the light sensor. After reading the post on Macrumors, the writer at Patently Apple had this to say:
"I went to the Apple Store later this morning to take a closer look at the iPad's "light sensor." Are you kidding me? You need a magnifying glass to see the damn thing. Did you see the camera on the iPhone 4? Yes, small, but something that you could actually see, like in the designs in this report. Sorry folks, but at the end of the day, I just don't buy into the light sensor angle at all and reconfirm my position that this is a design illustrating a face side camera - based on closer inspection of the actual product and the contrast that Apple makes in the designs..."
Although Macrumors believes that this was intended for the original iPad but just never made it in, we firmly believe that it does represent the next generation of iPads for a number of reasons. First and foremost, after looking at an iPad Patently Apple is making a completely valid statement which we agree with. Next, in the next couple of images, you can see another image of a patent. Notice the slope on the side views. Compare that to this image of the current iPad:
I have found the slopes of the sides to be different by a considerable amount.
Finally, in calculating the slope of the back, We have found out that the iPad patent pictures are actually smaller than the current ones, leading us to believe that they are the next generation of iPads