iPad 3 (or 2S or HD) is "thicker" -- really?

iPad 3 invitation
Before the iPad 3 release date (err, iPad 2S? iPad HD?), Chinese bloggers have assembled several parts, to show us what the new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) tablet looks like. Worryingly, it's thicker than the iPad 2, and Apple seems to be pulling our leg over the home button. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are in full-on rumor-reaction mode.

[Update 3: More evidence pointing to the iPad 3 release date]  

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Anyone for tennis?..

    Steve Lo shows us the parts:

Despite the rumors that [it] would be having no home button...we have gotten our hands on the parts through our sources, and...despite Apple creatively tilting the iPad...to fuel speculation...we can indeed confirm there is a home button.

...

[The] rumored LTE will not be integrated...[there's] a very limited market for [it]. ... Also, the LTE chipset adds an extra cost. ... One case manufacturer [said] thousands of iPad 3 cases have been shipped...over the past week. ... iPad 2 cases barely fit...[because] iPad 3 will be a little thicker...[but the] tapered edges that will possibly make it feel thinner.   
M0RE

Sean Ludwig adds:

The rumor mill has been in full force...suggesting the iPad 3 will be slightly thicker and will include...better cameras...verified somewhat by a...Chinese blog [that] partially constructed an iPad 3 with what it claims are authentic supplier parts.   
M0RE

And Mark Gurman runs the numbers:

There was a rumor last week that...[said] US prices would increase. ... That doesn’t appear to be the case...which should be no big surprise given Apple’s history.

...

While we’re squashing, the configurations appear to be the same as current: 16/32/64GB.   
M0RE

  But Jacqui Cheng is the bringer of bad news:

[Bad] news for reverse-sizequeens: multiple rumors have now stated that the iPad 3 will be ever-so-slightly thicker...0.81mm thicker than the iPad 2. ... [This] will undoubtedly frustrate those who always count on Apple's devices to get thinner over time.

...

As with all unannounced products, there's no way to know which elements are true...until Apple goes on stage. ... Still, when there's smoke, there's fire.   
M0RE

Meanwhile, it's almost as if Samantha Murphy is bored with the rumor-mill:

Flurries of speculation have...circulated the Web with many looking for clues about the highly-anticipated launch. ... The Internet is never shy about Apple rumors.   
M0RE

And Darren Allan rolls his eyes:

Inevitably, there’s time for one last flurry of iPad related rumours. ... Still, all will be revealed the day after tomorrow.   
M0RE
 

Update: Eric Slivka covers the shipping crunch:

[We're] now hearing from...other companies who are having a difficult time even getting their products shipped...from China.

...

One shipping representative [said] his freight broker in China has been scrambling to find space...with shipping rates rising 20%...as Apple has snapped up available capacity. ... Another shipping manager told us a similar story...having to scramble to find alternatives for moving products.

...

It certainly appears that Apple is planning for the iPad 3 to be available very soon after...Wednesday. Consequently, the company has clearly been working hard to move massive quantities...into position.   
M0RE

  Update 2: Rene Ritchie rides roughshod over the "no LTE" rumor:

[The] announcement will include 4G LTE networking...though it remains to be seen how Apple will handle the many different 4G bands being used...on carriers outside the U.S.

...

Verizon has the most to gain from an LTE iPad...[as it's] is stuck [with] 3mbps on EVDO Rev. A, [vs.] 14.4mbps offered on AT&T’s HSPA. ... [T]hat has to...be something they want Apple to address.   
M0RE

 Update 3: Seth Weintraub works out the release date:

We’ve been told by a...source who has been reliable in the past that preparations are being made for a big Apple Store event...March 16th. Naturally, this points to an iPad 3 launch...just nine days after tomorrow’s announcement.

...

Interestingly, we were told that there would [also] be a...launch event a week later. ... This could be a separate Apple product...or perhaps additional International launches.   
M0RE

    And Finally...
Anyone for tennis?

   
 
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch, for which he has won ASBPE and Neal awards. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon