Yes, it's official now. On March 7, Apple will unveil the iPad 3 in an event due to begin at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. ET), at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco. The official invite says, We have something you really need to see. And touch.
Although the invite didn't say anything about what the new iPad has in store for us, many enthusiastic eyes have tried to decipher clues that could shed light on the new features and enhancements expected in the device.
The 1 notification added to the Messages icon in the iPhone 4S/iOS 5 invite suggested that Apple would unveil only one new phone. Similarly, other media invites have shown off the new code names for the OS X versions, the report added.
iPad 3 Release on March 7 Confirmed: Deciphering Clues Hidden in the Apple Invite. Credit: Apple
Now, what does the tagline, We have something you really have to see. And touch. suggest?
According to a Cult of Mac analysis, the word you contains three letters and also has three words preceding it. In addition, the tagline includes 10 words and the invite image shows a finger pointing towards the March 7 date in the calendar app.
10 words included in the invite minus 7 equals 3, said the Cult of Mac report.
However, the signs symbolizing three can also be connected to the rumors saying that Apple will in fact launch at least three next-generation iPad variants in March. The new iPads could possibly be called J1, J2, and J2a internally, according to 9to5mac.
If the report in 9to5mac is to be believed, the word see could also refer to an iTV that Apple is rumored to release alongside the new iPad.
Unlike the 9to5mac report, the word see could also mean high-resolution display. Given a far brighter, crisper display shown in the invite image (bright enough to vividly reflect on the user's nail), it seems like the rumored high-resolution Retina Display is indeed going to be a key feature in the iPad 3.
No Home Button?
Will the next iPad lack the traditional home button? Interestingly, the long-standing feature is nowhere to be seen in the invite image.
According to many reports, the word touch in the second part of the tagline could also possibly mean losing the Home Button for a total touch interface, much in the style of the Blackberry PlayBook.
On the other hand, Mashable tries to connect the And touch part to something new - haptic technology in the iPad 3.
Haptic technology, or haptics, is a tangible feedback technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations or motions to the user.
The invite image also shows depth of shadows under the iPad, which, according to Cult of Mac, can suggest that the iPad 3 could have a thicker casing as compared to its predecessors.
There are ample possibilities that Apple might surprise us on March 7 by releasing a completely different iPad, or at least something that varies all the speculations made above based on the image and the two lines given in the invite. But considering Apple's history of invites laden with mysterious clues, the latest invitation can't be ignored for sure.
Remember the tagline in the invite for the iPhone 4S event? It read, Let's talk iPhone, and the key feature of the event and the iPhone 4S was the voice recognition personal assistant Siri, which can Talk.