New photos have emerged via blog MICGadget which are claimed to show the new iPad 3 rear casing. In a series of side-by-side shots that compare the iPad 3 with the iPad 2, a number of subtle changes can be seen.

As expected, the design of the iPad 3 does not depart far from the current model iPad. The iPad 3 is slightly thicker than the iPad 2, with an increase of ~1.5 mm to account for a higher resolution screen and/or larger battery and also appears to feature a more gradually tapering edge than the iPad 2.

These latest photos give credence to the long-running rumor of a thicker iPad 3, which first appeared last November. The image above is staggered, and exaggerates the difference in depth which is more easily appreciated in the side-by-side comparison below.

According to MICGadget, the iPad 3 has a “noticeably larger” camera hole, which suggests an improvement in camera optics in addition to the expected increase in megapixels.

This is not the first time photos of the iPad 3 rear housing been leaked, with a previous report pointing towards a number of substantial internal changes.

Latest reports indicate that at 4G LTE iPad 3 will launch on March 7th on the Verizon and AT&T networks with an A5X processor on board.