Jeremy Horwitz, the Editor-in-Chief of iLounge.com, has apparently laid eyes on the next generation iPad, at CES yesterday.
Horwitz says the new iPad he saw is a lot more like an iPad 2S, in terms of looks and size. It looks virtually identical to an iPad 2 and is very nearly the same size – just a tiny bit thicker (around 1mm). All its buttons are the same and in the same place.
From the back, you could walk past this new iPad on display and have no idea that anything had changed.
Another small differences noted by Horwitz is on the rear camera:
… 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.
The good news in relation to the size remaining almost exactly the same as the iPad 2 is that most iPad 2 accessories should also work with the iPad 3 if this all proves accurate. One of the main exceptions will be cases that are designed to fit the back of the iPad very precisely (the same sort of cases that will not fit correctly if you apply a screen protector type cover).
Horwitz qualifies what he saw in various ways – this is one of the most notable ways:
Second, I don’t get the impression that what I saw was just manufactured—it actually seemed to be more than half a year old. That’s not a huge surprise given how long pre-production takes for a “new” device, but a lot can change between mid-2011 and early 2012. All I can tell you is that every company I’ve asked about the next iPad seems to think what I’ve told you above is correct, apart from the possible screen size tweak, which remains uncertain.
So … if what Horwitz saw proves to be largely or entirely accurate, I imagine we’ll hear plenty of people (iPad owners and others) complaining that it’s not a big enough change, it’s not a revolutionary step forward for the iPad. I say that’s fine by me. I don’t want a revolutionary change to the iPad’s physical design or size. A little touch lighter, great – but a vastly different hardware design, no thanks.
If the next iPad – whether it’s the iPad 3 or 2S or 2HD or whatever – has got a majorly improved display (as I think is just about certain) a beefed up processor, more RAM (hopefully 1GB) and other internal / performance enhancements, I’m absolutely fine with its appearance staying near identical to the iPad 2.
How about you guys and gals? If what Horwitz saw is accurate, is that a new iPad you’re going to be keen on getting?