A popular Chinese online retailer of spare components for Apple devices, TVC-Mall, has added to their inventory a bundle of parts that are apparently destined for the iPad 3. Prior to today, the site had one part available, an iPad 3 dock connector cable. However, as pointed out to us today, the site has now added some other parts which include replacement power on/off cables, microphone flex cable, a replacement headphone jack connector and, of note, a new Bluetooth antenna.
While the power, microphone and earphone parts have actually been seen briefly before on TVC-Mall, but were removed last month. However, this is the first time that the new Bluetooth antenna, allegedly for the iPad 3, has been seen. The antenna seen in the picture appears to have a different product code to the Bluetooth antenna in the iPad 2.
Rumors have suggested that the iPad 3 will incorporate Bluetooth 4.0, a standard that will result in less power drain and offer quicker connection than previous generations. Apple reportedly held an MFI (made for iPod / iPhone / iPad) conference in China last month to talk to manufacturers of iOS-compatible Bluetooth accessory manufacturers about a new chip that offers compliance with the program.
Leaks of components destined for as-yet unreleased Apple devices frequently occur on the run up to the launch of a device, but it’s hard to establish how genuine they are. Nevertheless, the iPad 3 is rumored to be launching in March of this year, and given the prior parts leaks, it wouldn’t be surprising if this one was real.