Decoding Apple’s iPad 3 Event Invite

BY Jason

Published 29 Feb 2012

Yesterday, Apple sent out invites to the media event on March 7th, where it will unveil the highly anticipated third generation iPad.

The tagline on the invite reads “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

As we noted yesterday, the graphics of the invitation shows an iOS Calendar icon with the date as March 7nd with the iPad screen in the background, clearly suggesting that Apple plans to introduce much awaited next generation iPad at the media event.

The resolution of the Calendar icon in the invite seems to confirm that iPad 3 will indeed get a high-resolution Retina Display. Check out the comparison image of iPad 2 and iPad 3 (courtesy Gizmodo), it clearly highlights the low pixel count on the Wednesday typography on the iPad 2 image compared to the iPad 3 image from the invite.

So while the Retina Display seemed the explain the “have to see” part of the tagline, there have been many interpretations for the “And touch” part of the tagline. Some speculate that “have to see” suggests Apple will also unveil the recently rumored Apple TV 3 alongside iPad 3, while others including Gizmodo claim that Apple may be doing away with the Home button in iPad 3 and instead replacing it with a capacitive bezel.

Not only that, but there seems to be NO home button, which explains the mention of the “And touch.” in their invitation. How can we know? First, the photo they are showing is on portrait mode. You can’t achieve that icon spacing in the landscape mode (which is the only explanation for the lack of home button).

Moreover, the icon falls right onto the same water drop that the current iPad 2 falls while in portrait mode. The same happens with the reflection on the dock. And, on top of that, it’s impossible to get the same icon spacing in landscape mode. Clearly, Apple’s invitation is showing a photo of the iPad in portrait mode. And there’s no button to be seen.

Gizmodo seems to dismiss the idea that Apple could have turned the iPad upside down while taking the photo for the invite.

MG Seigler feels that it is highly unlikely that Apple will leak such a major design change in the event invitation.

Our take:

Though the idea of a capacitive bezel sounds interesting (as wear and tear of the Home button has been a major concern ever since iOS 4 was released), we feel it isn’t as intuitive to a first time iOS device user as the current Home button and making the entire bezel capacitive could result in too many accidental activations, so in our opinion we won’t bet on Apple doing away with the Home button. It looks like everyone is reading too much between the lines.

Let us know what you think in the comments.