While there have been no shortage of iPad 3 rumors and speculation, actual photos of the next-generation tablet have been thin on the ground. Today, RepairLabs have published an image (see above) that claims to show the rear casing of the iPad 3 in a side-by-side comparison with the iPad 2.

The image of the iPad 3 housing comes courtesy of the oft-quoted and seemingly omnipotent “industry insiders from China”. The report goes on to point out four main differences between the two cases and the iPad 3 features which may account for them.

The iPad 3 case has a “different” (smaller) logic board mounting which would allow for a much larger battery in the iPad 3. This has been a long expected change, and it makes sense if Apple is outfitting the iPad 3 with a high-resolution iPad 3 screen.

The iPad 3 is also expected to sport upgrades to both its front and rear-facing cameras, and minor changes noted in the housing where the camera is positioned seem to support this.

The display panel is undoubtedly the most-rumored piece of iPad 3 tech, but the report states that while they believe these images show that the LCD will be “different”, the screen has not yet reached the factory and they are unable to comment on it further.

While there have been reports that the iPad 3 may in fact be a few mm thicker than the iPad 2 in order to accommodate the new display, the sources quoted by RepairLabs claim that they are unable to discern a difference in width between the two casings.

While Apple have yet to announce a release date for the iPad 3, the iPad 2 was launched on March 2nd 2011 and most analysis has pointed towards another early March launch.

For more information on the iPad 3, view our recent iPad 3 rumor round-up.