Rumor has it that Apple’s fifth-generation iPad — expected to launch later this year — will boast a new form factor much like the iPad mini’s, with thinner bezels down each side of its display. The first evidence we have to prove those claims has surfaced today in the form of a leaked front panel.
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Apple’s latest iPad was not accompanied by the rumored “iPad mini” at its launch event in San Francisco last week. But according to sources in Apple’s supply chain, the smaller tablet is still on the way. One of its features, they claim, will be a slim bezel that will aim to maximize its viewing area.
Jeremy Horwitz, Editor-in-Chief over at iLounge, claims to have gotten up close and personal with a rear shell from Apple’s next-generation iPad 3. Thanks to his hands-on, Horwitz can reveal that the new device will indeed be slightly thicker than its predecessor (though you won’t notice it), with a much-improved iPhone-like camera, minus the LED flash.
When we talk about the iPad 2, we already know at least some of what to expect when Apple officially unveils their newest tablet in April: FaceTime support, an iPhone 4 like gyroscope and maybe a higher-resolution (but not Retina) display. Those are all pretty much lock-ins.
When it comes to iOS devices, though, Apple has a tendency to rejigger the device’s physical design in the second gen — consider the aesthetic difference between the iPhone and the iPhone 3G, for example — so what does Ive and Co. plan to tweak in the iPad 2’s casing? A Japanese blog citing anonymous Chinese sources claims to have the answer, if we’re willing to believe them.
This week’s Apple patent news comes out of China, where a couple of new iPad designs have been discovered in line drawing, describing an iPad with dual dock connectors and an iPad with a smart bezel button.