Light Peak is likely on its way to Apple’s 2011 Mac line up, and might debut in Thursday’s MacBook Pro refresh… but what about Apple’s iOS products? MacRumors postulates that Light Peak is also coming to the iPad 2. We seriously doubt it, though.
MacRumors’ speculation is based upon the “mystery port” found on many of the cases being shellacked together over in Asia in anticipation of the iPad 2. The port, found at the top middle of the iPad 2 case, has previously been rumored to be for a Mini DisplayPort connector or even a USB port. MacRumors suggests instead that this is a Light Peak port, using a hybrid Light Peak / USB 3.0 connector.
We’d be willing to be that it’s not. That “mystery port” is almost definitely a hole for the iPad 2’s freshly relocated SIM slot, as evidenced by the fact that while most of the iPad 2 cases coming out of Asia these days agree upon all the other ports and specifications, that “mystery port” slot only occasionally shows up. Some leaked iPad 2 case designs have it, some don’t. That implies that whatever that opening is for, it’s for something many people can live without having access to on a daily basis. The SIM slot is the only thing that makes sense from this perspective: after all, more than half of all iPads are sold as WiFi only affairs, without a SIM slot at all.
A Mini DisplayPort similarly makes no sense: Apple wants people to stream iPad content via AirPlay. As for USB, Apple’s making good money with the iPad Camera Connection Kit, and it doesn’t seem likely they’d eschew port simplicity in order to make less money.
So we’d be willing to bet that the “mystery port” not only won’t be Light Peak, but it’s not a port opening at all. What do you think?