Move along, nothing to see here. At least that’s what Apple is hoping will happen after a series of images supposedly leaked on its website today detailing the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 it’s about to unveil tomorrow. The images are small and don’t reveal much about the products beyond the fact that they don’t look much different from the current models. Some outlets have already used the images to preemptively declare tomorrow’s Apple press event a dud. The problem: the images look notably fake.
The dead giveaway is in how the images are labeled. Although the tech media and enthusiasts have been referring to the new tablets as the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, these are not the names that Apple is likely to use. Apple ceased using numbers on the iPad a few generations ago, and in fact switched to the “iPad Air” moniker last fall as an alternative to the numbering system. When the second generation iPad mini debuted last year, it was referred to simply as “iPad mini” with no number two after it. The notion that Apple would suddenly resume appending numbers to its iPad product is an unlikely one, and it casts serious doubt as to the authenticity of the images.
We’ll find out soon enough when Apple takes the stage tomorrow to debut its new iPad models. If they look exactly like the supposed “leaked” images, then we’ll know they were legitimate after all. But if they look different, and particularly if they don’t have any numbers in their names, we’ll know that a prankster has duped much of the tech industry yet again.