Apple's iPad 2 Will Lack Home Button: Report

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-01-13 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Apple's iPad 2 tablet will lack a home button, compelling users to navigate with a multi-touch gesture, according to the latest report adding to the rumor frenzy.

Apple's second-generation iPad 2 will arrive on store shelves in the United States by early April, according to the latest rumors. If that eventually pans out, it would put the next iPad's release schedule roughly in line with that of the original one, which launched in April 2010.

The blog MacNotes insisted in a Jan. 11 posting that the iPad 2 will make its debut "the first or second Saturday in April," based on information provided by an unnamed "reliable source." The posting added that the device will appear first in the United States before expanding internationally over th

Apple's second-generation iPad 2 will arrive on store shelves in the United States by early April, according to the latest rumors. If that eventually pans out, it would put the next iPad's release schedule roughly in line with that of the original one, which launched in April 2010.

The blog MacNotes insisted in a Jan. 11 posting that the iPad 2 will make its debut "the first or second Saturday in April," based on information provided by an unnamed "reliable source." The posting added that the device would appear first in the United States before expanding internationally over the summer.

Meanwhile, the blog Boy Genius Report suggested that Apple is planning a fairly radical hardware alteration to the iPad, one that will further streamline the already-sleek device.

"We have exclusively been told that the reason Apple just added multi-touch gestures for the iPad in the latest iOS 4.3 beta is because the iPad will be losing the home button," read the Jan. 12 posting. "Instead of button taps, you will use new multi-touch gestures to navigate to the home screen and also to launch the app switcher."

The posting also insisted that the home-button deletion would extend to the next version of the iPhone: "Our source said Apple employees are already testing iPads and iPhones with no home buttons on the Apple campus, and it's possible we will see this new change materialize with the next-generation iPad and iPhone devices set to launch this year."

Some tablets already seem to be drifting away from the reliance on mechanical buttons to navigate the user interface. For example, Research In Motion is making the case of its upcoming PlayBook touch-sensitive; instead of hitting a button to bring up the home screen, for example, you "flick" your finger across the BlackBerry logo embossed along the bottom of the tablet.

Although Apple's current iPad continues to dominate the tablet market in the year since its original unveiling, a number of manufacturers seem intent on saturating consumers with rival devices. In addition to the PlayBook and the growing number of Google Android-based tablets, Hewlett-Packard is reportedly preparing devices that leverage the Palm WebOS. Microsoft also offers Windows-powered tablets, but primarily for Asian markets.

Online reports have hinted that Apple is preparing its next iPad to be a similar hit. "Apple's orders of iPad 2 are expected to top 6 million units a month," DigiTimes suggested in December, "compared to a volume of 4 million units a quarter for the current version ... pushing Apple to expand the number of touch-panel suppliers."


 
 
 
 
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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