Given the attention that Samsung is getting over the Galaxy S7, which we expect to be unveiled at the manufacturer's February 21 Unpacked event, there is naturally a counter flow of talk surrounding Apple's own expected March devices. While the iPhone 5se and its 4-inch body has more or less been leaked to death, the iPad Air 3 remains a curious case. Now leaked photos of an alleged case for the 9.7-inch tablet has just made it even more curious, hinting at a possible Smart Connector for the device.
A Smart Connector would be a curious thing. The port was introduced and so far found only in the iPad Pro and is used to, well, connect it with accessories, particularly the Smart Keyboard. While the exact purpose of a Smart Connector on a slightly smaller iPad is still open for discussion, suffice it to say, we might see a few more accessories taking advantage of the feature when Apple debuts the tablet next month. A keyboard is certainly a possibility, which would be the first time Apple would have an official keyboard case. Aside from iPad Pro, of course.
The case also has cutouts for two other features we've heard about. There's the four-speaker setup ala the iPad Pro, which will hopefully also mean dynamically adjusting audio. Then the bigger cutout for the rear camera also makes just enough room for a flash.
Other than that, most of the holes for ports and buttons remain the same, including a hole for a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which might give some relief to worried buyers.
Of course, that all depends on the accuracy, not to mention authenticity, of the case. Third party accessory makers are often given schematics early on in order to prepare their accessories in time for the launch of a new device, but that usually happens with bigger brands and Apple partners. In other words, take this with a lot of salt.