iPad 3 Predictions - An Addendum

Well, I already wrote about my predictions for iPad 3 here, but then this happened. Let's talk about it, and talk about something that I had overlooked.

The sources were right, Apple will be unveiling the next iPad on March 7, 2012. In their invitation to the tech media, they included the picture at the top of this post, which got everyone all sorts of excited. Immediately, everyone started drawing conclusions from this image. There are two things that stand out, the latter of which I didn't even notice until I saw MG Siegler writing about everyone's reaction to it:
  1. The resolution of the device in the photo is clearly superior to that of the current iPad. Several sites have replicated the photo to show the difference, like this one. We can assume this is confirmation of the higher resolution display.
  2. There appears to be no home button, not even a marking where a capacitive button would exist.
So item 1: Check. Item 2: Well, this is less concrete. Siegler linked (see all the LOLs) to a whole slew of sites explaining why they thought this picture confirmed the absence of a home button. They contend that the screen is oriented in portrait due to the icon spacing and water droplets of the background, so we would expect the home button to be there. He contends that Apple would never leak such a major change to their design in this way, they never would do it.

Reminded of possibility that the home button could be ditched, I now believe that this design change is highly probable. Four and five finger gestures that replicate home button functionality already exist, and if you've read any of my previous posts you know that the current buttons fail. Getting rid of that button, in most instances would be fine. I disagree with Siegler here, at least in principal. 

First, this 'leak' is generating a ton of chatter, at least in the tech news arena. Just look at all those posts he linked to; everyone's talking about it! I think this generates much more press than Cook putting up a slide during the presentation that says 'look, no button', because really, it's cool but ultimately a non-feature. It's a very Apple simplification that on it's own isn't very exciting, but when it's surrounded in an aura of uncertainty, it's suddenly intriguing.

Plus, they're clearly giving away (presumably, unless we've all missed something) the best feature of the new iPad - the super-sexy-high-resolution screen. There's no way that they'll show us a 1024x768 screen after showing us this image, it would be a huge disappointment. If they're giving this away, why not slip something else in there? And while you're at it, shroud it in doubt. Now that's Apple. 

So did they give away two of the new features of this thing in the invite? Let's tack on 'no home button' to my list of predictions. See you Wednesday.