iPad 3 Prototype Parts Touched, Fondled

What looks like parts of an iPad 3 prototype have surfaced on a Chinese website called M.I.C gadget; some of them passed over to US-based technology website, Engadget.

The site managed to play with a white glass cover with a frame and the ubiquitous home button installed, thereby squashing any rumours that the home button was dead) as well as a 3G ready aluminium empty shell complete with cables, volume rocker and dock connector.

Richard Lai from Engadget highlights the fact that it is compatible with the Smart Cover but that the prototype parts with a larger lens, is a tad thicker and is engineered in such a way so that it provides with a bigger internal volume that allows Apple to cram even more components.

The iPad 3 is expected to be launched on the 7th of March together with a cheap version of the iPad 2 and a smaller version of the iPad. There have been a few rumours about the various names, especially from hardware manufacturers but nothing will be official until Tim Cook speaks out in less than 48 hours

ITProPortal.com has a live blog of the event from London, covering the pre-iPad 3 buzz happening in the hours prior to the launch, rumours and the launch itself on Wednesday 7th. We suggest that you follow and bookmark this real-time live blog thread.