A new series of iPad designs have surfaced this past week in China that illustrate a number of very interesting possibilities that could be coming to future iPads. The first is the ability to dock in landscape mode as well as portrait. Other features that may be in the works include a new port and a smart bezel. Time will tell if any of these designs pan out but it's a fascinating peek at what could surface in the next several weeks or quarters ahead.
New iPad Design Variant to Support Landscape Docking
Update May 29, 2012: News.com Australia reports that a picture of one of the original iPad prototype's recently surfaced on eBay. The unit uniquely sported a landscape connector as our report had revealed back in 2010.
A New iPad Design Patent shows what could be a Smart Bezel Feature
In February 2010 an Apple patent surfaced describing a smart bezel for a future iPad. Could the design illustrated below represent that feature - or is it simply something yet to be explained? The design patents out of China provide us with no insight whatsoever. The feature, whatever it is, is found in three distinct graphics to impress upon us that it is a distinct feature consistently found in the left bottom corner of the iPad. Is it an auto page turner? Time will tell.
Apple Wins iPad Dock Designs in China
Apple's Standing Design Team
Most of Apple's new industrial designs come from a core team of designers which includes Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer.
Update: Also see our report posted earlier today about the new FaceTime Camera design found in China's Patent Office. While there was some debate this morning about whether the design was a camera or light sensor, I'm convinced even more now that it is indeed a camera. See our updated report for a new graphic illustration that helps to make that point clearer.
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or Issued Patent should be read in its entirety for further details. For additional information on any granted patent noted above, simply feed the individual patent number(s) into this search engine.
Community Sites Covering this Report
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A special thanks goes out to MacDailyNews who carried part one of our report as well as Jim Cramer who tweeted about our report (on Sept 26, 2010 - see the graphic below). Jim Cramer is co-founder of the Street.com and could be seen on CNBC's "Mad Money" segment (Booyah!).