Did Apple kill the physical home button on the next-gen iPad? (with photo)

“It seems pretty likely that the invitation to Apple’s iPad 3 event (below) includes a shot of the new model,” Ryan Faas writes for Cult of Mac.

“The display is particularly sharp and smooth – just like the anticipated retina display for the device,” Faas writes.

“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,” Faas writes. “But there’s no sign of a home button, a design change that Apple has been allegedly been toying with for some time.”

Apple Special iPad Event: 10am on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco
via The Loop

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
It’s official: Apple to hold iPad event on March 7 in San Francisco – February 28, 2012


  1. … in all four directions. Is Faas saying this is positively the end of the iPad where the button is to be expected? I’m sure we’ll all find out in a little bit.

  2. Actually, based on icon spacing, you can’t surmise which orientation the iPad is being shown in. After all, you can add and remove icons from the iPad’s dock and the spacing between them changes accordingly.

    The home button could be hidden under the model’s hand or cropped out of the photo entirely.

    1. Amazing the number of people that don’t realize that you can add (or delete) up to 6 icons on the iPad’s dock – Yes the photo shows us nothing except some douchbag spouting nonsense.

  3. Apple isn’t stupid enough to include a shot of the new iPad on the invitation.
    They are clever enough to make the invite & picture just ambiguous enough to drive even more column inches. Bloggers, techies & fanboi’s will speculate wildly over this & give Apple even more free publicity. It’s all speculation & we will know for certain on the 7th.

  4. Impossible to draw any conclusion from that photo. I can’t imagine Apple doing so, the physical button is too useful to replace it, a software touch version is too easily operated by mistake, unless it’s resessed, in which case, WTF bother.

  5. Actually…it IS in portrait orientation because the the spaces are just barely less wide than the apps. The hap is MUCH wider in landscape. In fact, I just changed my screen to the bubbles and they match perfectly in portrait.

  6. I think we should whole heartedly debate the orientation of this iPad for the next 8 days calling out all sorts of scientific methods to figure it out…and then Apple can just tell us after the 8 days is up and it won’t matter who was right because nobody will have cared.

    Is Mythbusters available to figure this out?

  7. This could be portrait mode but still have a home screen button. If you can have up to 6 icons in the dock , and the picture is of the leftmost 3, then the button could very likely be just hidden under the thumb as the button location is aligned to the space between the third and fourth icon. As jmac has stated depends on how the picture was cropped

    1. I agree.
      Landscape is what I thought at first, but the spacing is wrong.
      Hand placement, portrait and *maybe* the edge of the home button edited out to look cleaner. Or upside down.

      But if apple did away with the actual button… I really wouldn’t miss it.

      1. There does need to be at least one physical button to get a user to a starting point. A friend of mine recently went blind and without the Home button, there would be no way he could use his phone. It is the only sure fire way of getting to a place you can work from. Furthermore, it can be configured to have multiple functions, including activating Siri, which as you could imagine, he uses a lot.

      2. there is a definite artificial camera focus at play here

        the proof – of this mechanical soft tilt / feathering would also been noticeable at the point of – reflection

        the reflection of the users thumb; just below the keynote icon should be equally out of focus and the out water drops above and beyond hold a focus different then the icons neighbouring those highly burred icons.

        note: showcasing a photo to of the new retina display – one would think burring out the icons would be a poor idea

        again the most interesting aspect of this shot is the edge of the iPad itself – lacking a metal frame

  8. See and TOUCH- Ipad 3 will have tactile response when you touch it this time around. The Calendar icon is higher than the other icons so that you finger feels it when it’s touched. Likely why the others are out of focus they are lower/further out of the pic. Home button will be gone.

  9. This isn’t an iPad.

    The bezel is huge, and the icons are clearly larger (not merely sharper) than they are on the iPad. They are scaled-up the same amount the icons on iPads are scaled-up relative to an iPhone screen.

    Mark my words, this is a new device. An iOS iMac, sans Mac.

    1. cool – perhaps its the new Apple touch keyboard ?
      Walk away with your keyboard – the docking and syncing is all handled thru bluetooth – a keyboard length iPodTouch and gaming unit with the A5X that integrates as a tv controller – okay i get it – cool

  10. “And touch.”

    Macbone is onto something. Clearly, the invite also could be about a 7-inch “iPod touch” or the real, Apple HDTV — as well as an iPad 3.

    Otherwise, why are the icons so much bigger than current icons (relative to the finger size). To see what I mean, compare the invite image to your own iPad icons and finger.

    Would a retina display on a relatively larger HDTV result in larger icons? What about on a relatively smaller, 7-inch iPod touch with a retina display?

  11. Suggestion: just watch apple’s infoturial movie about iCloud. Between 0:20 and 0:25 they show a black iPad(dish) tablet. The home button is on the longer side. And the camera on the other long side. A security blanket fell off in their own studio I’d say.

  12. The edge of the iPad is interesting to me – also.
    There does not seem to be the aluminum frame present.
    No lip of metal. No colour change; its as if the glass is more apart of the bevel then before.

    Regarding the home button. Yeah its gone. Thats true.
    Just say “home” and Siri takes you there. Put on your “ruby slippers” and say, “there’s no place like home” and your iPad will magical transform into a carpet and fly you away – lol.

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