The above image is a comparison of an iPad 2 home button and an iPad 3 home button. At the surface, not much as changed, but the prospects of some minor structural tweaks do hint at something greater. The iPad 3 home button, which has been handled in both black and white flavors, looks almost identical to the iPad 2 home button. However, the gray glyph representing the frame of a home screen application icon is slightly thicker. This, obviously, is not all the interesting…but we do learn a few things:
– The iPad 3 will likely come in both black and white-just like the iPad 2-if these iPad 3 home buttons pan out to be the ones used in the final.
– The buttons floating around right now-in large quantities-signal that the iPad 3 is either in production or close to the production stage
– The iPad 3 will not lose the home button (iOS devices have been rumored to soon be losing the home button).
Perhaps the most interesting part about the iPad 3 home button is that its internal structuring is smaller than the iPad 2’s connector (easy to tell in the comparison image above). Apple tweaking the home button structural design and making its size smaller may indicate that Apple is trying to make room for something else. The iPad 3 is already rumored to be nearly 1 mm thicker to accommodate a more pixel-dense Retina Display. Perhaps this slightly smaller home button is one method Apple is using to keep the extra thickness required to a minimum.
Power and volume rockers with a similar design to their iPad 2 counterparts are also floating around, perhaps hinting a minimal design changes. Stay tuned for more.