Today, the mainstream media is reporting on the announcement from Cupertino that there will be an event on March 7th for the iPad 3. Invitations to the media were released today with a typically cryptic, tantalizing tagline: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”
Speculation has raged for months about what we can expect from the iPad 3. The prevailing belief is that it will feature a dramatically improved retina display, 4G LTE connectivity, and some kind of improvement in the processor. In recent weeks, there has been debate over whether the new chip will be the rumored quad-core A6, or the more recent rumor of a dual-cure “A5X,” which constitutes a refresh of the current A5.
Or, as rumors today suggest, Apple could be producing both, perhaps for use in a “mini iPad” to accompany the standard 9.7-inch version that is expected.
On the invitations to the press, the new photo of the iPad 3 appears to be missing a home button. Computerworld remarks, “If the background is a photograph of the iPad 3 and not digitally manipulated, it hints that the tablet will not sport a physical home button, as have earlier iPads.” This change in the iPad’s design would be a major overhaul in Apple’s mode of navigation for its mobile devices, and would confirm what many have speculated about for years — that Apple would eventually move to replace the physical home button with something new and next-generation. If the iPad 3 is losing the home button, it would not be hard to imagine that the new iPhone 5 will be home button-less as well.
Some are also suggesting that the disappearance of the home button on the iPad 3 could also suggest that Apple is looking to increase the screen size without increasing the dimensions of the tablet itself. Even CNBC‘s own highly-cited article suggests this: “It is expected that the new ipad will have a larger screen, a faster processor and a better camera, said Ashok Kumar, an analyst for Maxim Group.”
To be sure, all of these speculations will be confirmed on March 7th, along with the price of the new iPad 3, which some believe will see an increase from previous iPad models, thanks to the new hardware and design.
By Michael Nace