Will We See The iPad 3 At CES?

Jeremy Horwitz, Editor-in-Chief of iLounge blog, has aired another piece in a long line of well-founded rumors. His major point is, if you look at what the iPad 3 may look like, it might not be much different than the iPad 2.

The speculation worked with the iPad and iPad 2 nearly perfectly. So if we are not talking about a smaller iPad where the obvious analogy of two can go wrong, we are fine in suggesting that they will remain very similar. Look again at the iPad and iPad 2 side by side, do you see a pattern?

So, if we follow this quite rational and obvious line of thinking, then we can believe Jeremy in that:

“the new iPad’s body will be so slightly thicker than the iPad 2 that the change is unnoticeable on first inspection; a roughly 1 mm increase will be barely perceptible to users. We’ve heard that the only accessories that might have issues are cases, and then, only cases that were precisely contoured to fit the iPad 2’s back. On the rear, the camera in the upper left corner has become bigger—noticeably so when placed alongside the iPad 2, but not so huge that anyone would think they were different at a distance. The new camera hole is silver-ringed, and does in fact look the same size as the iPhone 4S’s much-improved rear camera system, minus the LED flash.

From the front, the next iPad and iPad 2 appear to look basically the same—apart, of course, from the screen. That’s going to be Apple’s big focus when the new device is announced, but I didn’t see it. One company claimed to have heard the screen would be just a little smaller than the iPad 2’s, but if that’s the case, the front glass bezel I saw didn’t seem to suggest that. Switch, button, speaker, and other elements located on the side edges are all the same, as are the headphone and Dock Connector ports. In other words, last year’s accessories should generally work properly with the new model, which is great.”

We have yet to see how it will be. Now,  this particular rumor doesn’t cover things like requirements of a new 2048×1536 ultra-high resolution screen that might have direct influence on how thick (or thin) the iPad 3 might be. There’s no word about changes in bezel width, even if these will come out pretty small (suggested by leaks of new front button last year).

Jeremy is also hedging his bets with the observation that Apple could easily call this device the “iPad 2S” or “iPad 2HD” if it wanted to start the lettering game with its tablets. Sure, just recall external shape differences between iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, how much were they?

Yet the logic behind this seems to be quite valid. Last year, on the first day of the 2011 CES, an iPad 2 shell was shown — one that looked virtually identical to what was announced later, apart from tweaks to the bottom speaker grille and side switch. The curves and proportions were the same, the various elements in the right places, and so on:

As much as small external changes may seem important to some, the differences in internals between the iPad 2 and iPad 3 still take precedence, and may end up being the biggest changes of all.


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