Patently Apple has discovered new Apple patent applications in China that provides some interesting details of the design changes that we can probably expect in the next generation iPad.
According to one of the patents, future iPads will also be able to dock in landscape in addition to the portrait mode that is possible currently.
The new patent applications have also revealed that the second generation iPads could get a new port and a smart bezel.
This is not the first time we’ve heard about dual dock connectors as iLounge had reported that the first generation iPad could come with two dock connectors:
According to the site, the tablet will have two dock connectors to allow the device to be docked in either portrait or landscape orientations. This should allow the device some flexibility when docking with 3rd party accessories, avoiding awkward cable positioning.
It would be really nice to have the option to also dock the iPad in landscape mode.
Patently Apple has also identified a port next to the 30-pin connector, which it believes could be a mini-HDMI or USB port. But it is probably a case of wishful thinking as it appears to be a sim-card slot/tray for the iPad 3G. But I’m sure many users will really love to see a mini-HDMI or USB port in the next generation iPad.
Patently Apple has also observed a circle-shaped hole on the top of the iPad as seen in the image below. The site believes that it could be for a possible front-facing camera to bring Apple’s FaceTime video calling feature to the iPad, which is one of the most requested features.
However, it could also be the ambient light sensor which is currently located in that spot.
Patently Apple discovered another patent for something called the “Smart Bezel”. Though the patent doesn’t provide any further details, it appears to be some type of touch-based quick access key, which Patently Apple speculates could be as a auto page turner.
Interesting stuff! I’m already looking forward to the next generation iPad. What about you? Let us know your thoughts on the new patents in the comments section below.[via Patently Apple]