Apple has a very specific PR strategy when it comes to introducing new products, the teaser photos they include in press invitations are always highly symbolic. Apple let’s the rumor mills churn for months and months about features and release dates, and then a photo always launches the speculation level to a new level the week before the official announcement.
For the iPad 3, the biggest mystery that people are wondering about? Will it have a home button?
That has been the most scrutinized speculative feature change for the iPad 3 this week. Most likely because the iPad 3 design will most likely be the same as the iPhone 5 when it comes to the home button. Also, the tech media has also been debatting the release and possible feature upgrades for iOS 5.1, which is rumored to be released on March 9th, and would ship with the new iPad 3. Rumored upgrades for the new iOS 5.1 include multi-lingual support for Siri, a new camera button on the lock screen, and improved security.
Should Apple choose to “delete” the home button on the iPad 3, it will probably be replaced in one of three ways: a smooth, touch-style home button placed somewhere on the frame, a software-based button on the user interface, or a new kind of gesture or finger swipe that will bring the user back to home. There are already several mobile devices on the market that utilize touch-style buttons on their frames but they offer little more than a stylistic alternative to a hardware button that you press. Whichever way Apple decides to go it will not drastically effect the operation of the iPad 3 and users will quickly adapt to whichever route Apple takes with the home button debate.
There have been no indications with the beta versions of iOS 5.1 that would point to a new software-style home button. The reason for this could simply be that Cupertino has gone out of its way to avoid letting the cat out of the bag, much like the new design of the iPhone 5. If the home button does change, the iPad 3 will be a good opportunity for users to get introduced to the technology that will most likely be on the new iPhone 5.