The idea that the Home button Apple lovers have grown used to may be absent on the iPad 3 is in line with Apple's longstanding minimalistic streak, and would be just one further step toward ultimate sleekness.
The speculation--which is all any of the rumors about Apple iPad 3 specs and technical specifics are until the tablet is unveiled--comes on the eve of an Apple event in San Francisco at 10 p.m. PST Wednesday, March 7, that observers expect to be the release date for the iPad 3.
Though the tablet may likely instead be called the iPad HD, it will break technological ground, as Apple always ensures that each new product is better than its predecessor.
Removing the Home button would be yet another example of Apple breaking convention in pursuit of perfect electronics.
CultofMac.com explained its reasons for believing the new tablet may not contain a Home device in a Tuesday blog posting, saying that the invitation to the March 7 event points to such a move:
It seems pretty likely that the invitation to Apple's iPad 3 event includes a shot of the new model. The display is particularly sharp and smooth - just like the anticipated retina display for the device. The spacing of the icon[s] on the iPad 3 pictured on the invite clearly indicate that it's in portrait orientation rather than landscape. But there's no sign of a home button, a design change that Apple has been allegedly been toying with for some time.
The company issued an invitation to select media outlets last week, offering details about the event and stating the following: We have something you really have to see. And touch. The message was accompanied by a photo of an iPad with a finger pushing a button on its touchscreen.
That is pretty sparse substantiation for such a revolutionary claim, but the Website follows it up by explaining that, in fact, there were rumors that the iPad 2 would be the first iOS device to ship without a home button.
In January 2011, CultofMac explained its reasoning for such an expectation thusly: Yes, we are told that Apple, at some point in time, will remove the home button from the iPad's design. Instead of button taps, you will use new multitouch gestures to navigate to the home screen and also to launch the app switcher.
But CultofMac left room to allow for the good possibility that the iPad 3 will come with a Home button, just as everyone has long believed, saying the invitation could just be a misleading ploy:
Or the whole thing could be upside down.