The pictures, first published by French blog Nowhereelse.fr, show what could be the front glass of an as-yet-unannounced next-generation 9.7-inch iPad.
AppleInsider cannot vouch for the veracity of the alleged component, and the following is offered for purposes of discussion only.
Closer inspection of the alleged part reveals a number of changes from the current fourth-generation iPad, such as significantly trimmed bezels and tweaked proportions. By comparing the size of the home button cutout to the surrounding design elements, it can be guessed that the overall dimensions are akin to an oversized iPad mini. This is supposing the home button's size was carried over from the curent model.
Further details, like the ambient light sensor mask and hole for a front-facing camera, can be clearly distinguished in the photo.
While the size and shape of the component are in line with previous rumors describing a fifth-generation iPad, it is also possible that the part is merely a knockoff.
The supposedly leaked pictures come on the heels of mounting rumors that Apple is preparing to begin production of the next-generation tablet this month ahead of a release in July or August.
Those estimates run counter to sources who told iMore that instead of an iPad launch, August may see the debut of a new iPhone. The site, which has published accurate device predictions in the past, estimated an "April-ish" timeframe for the fifth-gen iPad's unveiling.