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1. No Home Button
First noticed by reader BenAmirault, the lack of home button on the iPad shown in the invitation has been the primary focus of attention. While many leapt to the conclusion that Apple may be getting rid of the home button (Steve Jobs famously didn’t like buttons at all), others quickly pointed out that the iPad could just be in in landscape mode. However, some other clues may prove it’s not that simple…

2. The Background Isn’t Right
If the iPad is indeed in landscape mode, then the water droplets are in the wrong place. That grouping above and to the right of the Calendar app isn’t visible in landscape, reader Jeremy Schwartz says. That could mean indeed the home button has been removed (the iPad isn’t upside-down because the camera isn’t visible — unless that’s been moved, too). It could also mean that the background has been redesigned for a new kind of screen…

3. The Screen Is Super-Sharp
Examining the screen up close — as reader chrisdazzo pointed out Gizmodo did — shows that the screen resolution indeed appears to be much sharper than a regular iPad. This likely means the rumor that the iPad 3 will have a so-called “retina” display is true.

4. Maps, Calendar and Keynote Apps
None of the apps shown are in the dock by default on today’s iPads. Why did Apple choose these particular ones? Could it be ready to unveil 3D maps, like Chaz McCarter suggests? A new way to customize how the Calendar icon appears (a theory from Kenneth Streetman)? And is ahbulhusein1 right that Keynote will now come bundled with the iPad by default?

5. No Magnifying Glass, Page Markers
The iPad screen doesn’t have those tiny markers that let you know which app page you’re on, which also includes the search magnifying glass. As Chris Hayesobserves, those icons are always on and you can’t turn them off. Does it mean the iPad 3 might have a whole new way of navigating pages? Or could it be a clue that what we’re looking at isn’t an iPad at all, but some other touchscreen device, as Eric Cotter speculates?

6. “See”
Most readers, like Johann Marron, believe “see” is a no-brainer reference to the iPad 3’s retina display. However, some, like Bobby Liu, think it could be a veiled reference to another device — the rumored iTV television. Although there’s no expectation that Apple is anywhere near ready to unveil a TV, Yesi Orihuela thinks what we’re looking could be a touchscreen controller for the set, or the TV itself, and not an iPad at all.

7. “Touch”
Smart_Faheem thinks this is a simple reference to updating the iPod Touch. But Jason Roth has a more elaborate theory, that Apple will replace the iPad home button and its hard buttons along the border with “invisible” along the bezel that are touch-reactive. There’s also no shortage of other theories, including haptic feedback (Daniel Chaparro), near-field communication (NFC) for mobile payments (ross_hayes) or that customers will be able to “touch” the new iPad with near-immediate availability (Steven Whiting). Of course, it could just be a mundane reference to the iPad’s touchscreen.

Extra Theories
Many readers saw — or thought they saw — other clues, but some of the observations are questionable. Some believe the picture shows that the iPad will have a black backside, but that could just be lighting. There’s also no 30-pin connector visible (which Apple is rumored to be dropping), but that’s likely because of the angle of the photo. Then there are the just-for-laughs theories, like the new iPad will be waterproof (the droplets are real!), that the photo has the aspect ratio of an old TV (must be iTV!) and Apple wants the press to arrive on time (that’s what the Calendar app means).
In case you’ve been living in the analog world for the past few days, Apple sent out invitations Tuesday to an event to be held next week. And the Internet exploded, right on schedule.
Apple, true to form, has not said anything about what products or services it’ll unveil next week, or if it’ll unveil anything at all. Nonetheless, based on past history, a nonstop cavalcade of rumors, and third-party sources, Apple is all but guaranteed launch the next iPad, aka the iPad 3, at its March 7 event.
That much was effectively confirmed by Apple’s invitation, which shows a picture of a finger reaching out and touching what can only be an iPad screen, along with the words, “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”
That’s all we have to go on, at least officially. That’s when we turned to you, faithful Mashable readers, to see if there were any clues in the invitation that might not be obvious. It wasn’t much to work with, but that one image and those 10 words prompted a frenzy of digital forensic examination the likes of which could only be matched by an entire season of CSI.
From the wording to the visible apps to the pattern of droplets on the screen, readers extracted clue after clue as to exactly what the iPad 3 might be. Keep in mind that all of this is highly speculative, that Apple could have easily Photoshopped the image extensively, and the company is notorious for its misdirection over rumors.
Still, the invite is real, and it really came from Apple. Here’s what our readers were able to extract. Feel free to share any more theories in the comments.

(Source: Mashable)

  1. aljtechblog posted this

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