It’s not every day that a yet-to-be-released product has its parts surface at a major consumer electronics expo. But this year, just like last, iLounge managed to sneak a peak a the “next-generation” iPad, possibly. We say possibly because there’s a good chance that they actually got a sneak peak at a prototype, a fake, or a mockup of the next iPad.

Jeremy Horwitz, Editor-in-Chief for iLounge:

[quote]Yesterday, one day ahead of the 2012 CES, I saw what’s supposedly the next-generation iPad. I’d show you a picture, but there’s honestly nothing to be seen. Think iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S: this device so resembles the iPad 2 that differences are only obvious when they’re placed next to each other. From the back, you could walk past this new iPad on display and have no idea that anything had changed.[/quote]

We’re skeptical, but we were also skeptical last year when iLounge mysteriously found the iPad 2 at CES before it was released. What they saw last year was surprisingly accurate.

The part here that has us very skeptical is the, “but there’s honestly nothing to be seen” in Horwitz’s article. If the iPad 3 was in their hands, and they had the ability to snap a pick, there would be plenty to see, and gain, from a photo like that on the Internet.

Horwitz goes on to explain that the body of this mysterious iPad is a little thicker, the camera is still in the same location, but is slightly larger, and it has no LED flash. Horowitz, despite writing like he had seen the iPad 2, does qualify that the device seemed a little bit old, and that it, “actually seemed to be more than half a year old.” So, this leaked device that Horwitz got his hands on could easily be a prototype from the last iPad, or a future iPad HD, iPad 2S, or iPad 3, depending on what naming convention Apple decides to run with moving forward.

We’ll leave it up to you, but this time, unlike last time, feels a little bit more like a ruse than an actual leaked iPad 3.

Read Hope To See The Next iPad At CES? You Might, Without Knowing It on iLounge

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