March 8th, 2010
Today we received photos of what are supposed to be the final revision iPad midframe.
This iPad frame appears to be similar to the pictures released a month ago, but there are some subtle differences that make you wonder what Apple’s plans are.
The most notable feature in this frame is that the webcam holes remain. The holes appear to be a slightly different style and don’t seem to allow one of the currently used iSight modules (such as in a Unibody Macbook) to fit snug into the hole. It, however, seems strange that multiple versions of this midboard frame have the webcam holes when no currently known model includes a webcam. Generally manufacturing companies that have two different revisions of a product will try to save money on production by using interchangeable parts, but from the looks of this so far, all of these prerelease parts are being made to house hardware that is not available on any model. This could be attributed to either a late minute announcement that will have people pulling out their wallets, or it was a last minute design pull. (The fact that the camera holes made it from supposed prototype to final revision could possibly support some type of late announcement theory….though we seriously doubt it.)
One major difference between the two is the large rectangular hole at the bottom of the iPad near the home button. The previously released pictures show large holes on both the top and bottom, but these new pictures only show one large rectangular hole. The holes appear to be a way to route some internal cables or securing some internal component. If you compare these photos with the official iPad gallery, it appears the bottom may be used for housing the speaker.
The bottom of the iPad appears to have a much more recognizable hole for the home button.