Next Generation

iPad 2 Cases Confirm Thinner Profile, Camera

More leaked iPad 2 cases have arrived that confirm the next generation tablet will have a slimmer form factor. Various openings on the cases also show a rear-facing camera and other mysterious ports.

Apple iPad 2 cases thin profile

9to5 Mac got their hands on a silicone shell case, and they describe it as "crazy thin". Pictured here, the case features a hole slightly larger than an iPhone 4 camera on the back. Most observers expect the iPad 2 to launch with front and rear facing cameras and FaceTime.

Apple Designs Smart Bezel for Future iPads

Apple designs revealed by Patently Apple point to a future iPad bezel sensitive to touch. This smart bezel would replace the physical home button and add a variety of controls to the area surrounding the display.

Apple iPad patent smart bezel no home button

Inside the smart bezel would be pressure, touch and other sensors along with status lights that would respond to multi-touch gestures. Replacing the home button currently found on iPad bezels would be just one of many possible uses for the new hardware.

iPad 2 Could Feature Super PLS Display

Industry reports indicate that Apple will change its iPad 2 screen supplier to Samsung and may adopt new display technology in the process. Samsung Mobile Display revealed its Super Plane to Line Switching (PLS) LCD panel in November, and Apple is already rumored to have shown interest in the display.

Apple iPad 2 display Samsung super PLS

Super PLS improves viewing angles over the already impressive In-Plane Switching (IPS) displays found on current iPad models. In addition, Samsung's PLS screens are at least 10 percent brighter than existing IPS components.

Apple Moving iPad 3 Release Date to Fall 2011?

Most of the rumors we hear lately revolve around the upcoming release of the iPad 2. Now it seems that Apple may have a plan in the works to accelerate the iPad release schedule starting with a third generation tablet this fall. A pre-holiday release for the iPad 3 would align the device with the current iPod touch annual refresh.

Apple iPad 3 Fall 2011 holiday release

Speculation and inside information from multiple sources including TechCrunch and Daring Fireball point to Apple's release schedule changing to insure competitors to the iPad don't have any time to gain a foothold in the market. The Wall Street Journal has confirmed the iPad 2 is already in production at Foxconn, although an announcement of the updated hardware has yet to arrive.

Recent Apple Patents Hint at Future iPad Designs

We may not see all of these Apple patents implemented on the iPad 2, but they are interesting nonetheless. Several patents filed by Apple engineers have surfaced in recent days. One modification to the back of the iPad could put some accessory manufacturers out of business.

Built-in Apple iPad stand patent

The diagrams show a built-in stand on the back of the tablet computer that would fold out to provide a comfortable tabletop viewing angle. A dual hinge would allow the iPad to rest on the kickstand in either landscape or portrait position.

iPad 2 Camera Confirmed by iOS 4.3 Icons

MacRumors has uncovered more evidence of an iPad 2 camera in the latest Apple iOS firmware. iOS 4.3 beta 2 has made its way into the hands of developers, and icons for Camera, Photo Booth, and FaceTime apps can be found in the release.

Apple iPad 2 FaceTime Camera Photo Booth icons

The icons appear in a small image (homeScreenOverlayFaceTime~ipad.png) which is used to preview iPad home screen wallpaper. In the current firmware iOS 4.2, this same file shows all of the standard iPad icons but these three camera-specific apps are missing. It's possible Apple could ship the iPad 2 with only one front-facing camera, although other evidence points to two cameras on the iPad 2.

iPad 2 Hardware: New Details Emerge

Apple watchers are expecting Apple to release the iPad 2 this spring, packed with new features and a refined form factor. Aside from various mock-ups of the next generation iPad appearing at CES this year, several recent leaks from industry insiders are painting a more detailed picture of what the iPad 2 hardware will include.

Apple iPad 2 concept model CES 2011

Similar to Apple's improvements to the iPhone 4 with the Retina display, AppleInsider discoveries have been made indicating a quadrupling of screen resolution is in the works for the iPad 2. Thanks to the release of iOS 4.3 beta firmware, developers have found graphics in the iBooks application that have two different resolutions.

iPad 2 Mock-up Featured at CES by Case Manufacturer

Apple may not officially be at CES 2011, but a model of the next generation iPad made an appearance anyway. iPad case manufacturer Dexim featured the aluminum iPad 2 mock-up as it was showing off iPad 2 cases.

Apple iPad 2 CES mockup and case

Although the exact dimensions of the iPad 2 can't be verified, the mock-up appeared to match several recent leaks and photos of iPad 2 cases. Apple's next generation tablet is widely expected to feature a flat back, beveled sides like the iPod touch, and a thinner profile.

iPad 2 Form Factor Revealed by Leaked Images

More evidence now points to a next generation iPad that sports tapered edges, a contoured back with camera, and slimmer profile. The current model iPod touch looks to be an inspiration for the iPad design update as leaked case images reveal.

Apple iPad 2 Pre release case

Not only have several iPad 2 case photos been leaked online, the schematics for a case mold were recently pulled from 9to5 Mac at the request of an unnamed manufacturer. Assuming the case mold drawings are real, they show an updated form factor matching the tapered shape seen in many of the iPad 2 case designs.

Retina Display on iPad 2 Not Likely

Many iPad fans are expecting several hardware upgrades on a next-generation iPad in the spring. Everything from a front facing camera with FaceTime to carbon fiber construction has been discussed, but nobody really knows exactly what Apple has up its sleeve. What's clear is that adding a Retina display to the iPad would be much more difficult than it seems.

Thanks to some calculations by Ryan Block, we can see that a 9.7 inch iPad Retina display would exceed the capabilities of current mobile device technology.


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