Photos from China have leaked to the press purporting to show a cable for the iPad 5's fingerprint sensor.
The ribbon cable, which bears the designations 821-1799-03 and Fm 13-16, appears to be markedly different from the home button cable of the iPad 4. This has fuelled speculation that the iPad 5 will feature a similar Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 5S.
For one thing, it resembles the ribbon cable found in the new flagship smartphone, which came out last month.
Still, Apple has a track record of being more cautious about adopting new technology on its tablet computers.
Siri for example, which launched with the iPhone 4S in late 2011, didn't appear on the iPad 3 which came out five months later. It wasn't until the iPad 4 that Siri was available on a tablet.
Similarly, it wasn't until iPad 3 that Apple created a tablet that featured a Retina display, despite the technology having been implemented on the iPhone 4 a whole 18 months earlier. The iPad 2, which came out six months after the iPhone 4, had no retina display.
The photos emerge just a day after HTC suffered its own unintentional fingerprint-related disclosure: a leaked photo allegedly shows the upcoming HTC One Max complete a new with fingerprint scanner. Samsung and LG, meanwhile, have both confirmed that new phones will feature fingerprint sensors.
While rumours abound, there is still no official confirmation of a fingerprint sensor on the iPad 5. It's possible that Apple will hold off until the next generation, in case unforeseen problems begin to emerge with the Touch ID interface on the 5S.
Yet of the reports are to be believed, the development represents a strong sign that mobile device fingerprint recognition is here to stay.