Hands-on with iPad 3 Front Glass, Rear Shell, and Cases

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Keeping you, our dear M.I.C. readers updated, we have some very interesting news for you. Despite the rumors that Apple would be having no home button on their next-generation iPad, we have gotten our hands on the parts through our sources, and are now able to objectively tell you our readers the truth. We also have other exclusive updates from our sources pertaining to the March 7th product launch. More info past the break. And a hands-on video of iPad 3’s front glass, rear shell, and cases.

The Components

Let’s start with the components we have. You previously saw our iPad 3 rumor roundup, explaining what our sources have told us about the upcoming tablet. We are happy to tell you, our trusted sources have come through again. We do have the front cover piece (in the video above), and despite Apple creatively tilting the iPad to landscape to fuel speculation, (somewhere Tim Cook must be laughing) we can indeed confirm there is a home button.

iPad 3 front panel
iPad 3 rear shell
We have also confirmed, that the iPad 3, as 9to5mac said before is the same size in terms of memory. 16GB, 32GB and 64GB are the flavors of the day here, no surprises. Readers will also be pleased to know that the price has not increased either. We at M.I.C. feel that this is because the rumored LTE will not be integrated. As indicated in our previous in depth article to Apple’s mobile strategy, we said there was a very limited market for LTE at this time. Also, the LTE chipset adds an extra cost to each unit, which the normal Qualcomm 3G chipset does not incur. We also feel that it will most likely be added to the next model, as opposed to this one. Our sources concur with us on this as well.

The Cases
iPad 3 cases purchased from Shenzhen, ChinaWe purchased some third-party iPad 3 cases from Shenzhen, and we have three kinds (will soon be available for sale at M.I.C. store), all which are also shown in our video. Readers do note, that if cases are found, it means the item is very close to launch. (although Apple could be sneaky as proven here) What’s more, we found more iPad 3 cases for sale on Chinese trading site Alibaba, see gallery below.

One case manufacturer has told us discreetly that thousands of iPad 3 cases have been shipped to the states over the past week.

We would like to note, that due to the additional edge tapering, the iPad 2 cases barely fit the iPad 3 rear shell. The smart cover however does fit, so those readers with previous smart covers can rest easy knowing they do not need to buy another.

Comparing the iPad 2 and iPad 3

the edges on iPad 3 are more tapered than the edges in iPad 2
The iPad 3 will be a little thicker than the iPad 2, but it also features tapered edges that will possibly make it feel thinner. Check out the photo gallery below to see the comparisons we’ve done.

March 7th Launch

Apple preps Yerba Buena for iPad 3 event (image credit: macstories)
Apple is making the Yerba Buena Centre look very nice for the upcoming launch, very colorful indeed. Just look at all those banners.

Our sources have indicated also that a new Apple TV, at the same price point will be revealed on March 7th as well. We have suspected this as many Apple Resellers in China have been complaining of their stock of Apple TVs not being replenished. It will feature a newer processor inside it, the A5x with the lower nanometer manufacturing which makes it run cooler and energy efficient. Our internal sources have confirmed this.

Expect new features with it as well. Which brings us to the most exciting news, everyone is asking what is the item codenamed B82? Nobody seems to know. One of our sources in Apple R&D told us it has something to do with Siri. He does not know anything besides that. We cant wait to see this “one more thing” for sure!

Our Hong Kong editor Chris Chang contributed to this report.

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