A sketchy rumor claims the 10th-generation iPad could gain two big changes, with Touch ID migrating to a side button while the FaceTime HD camera could move to another side of the display.
Apple is rumored to be preparing updates to its iPad lineup in October, including its entry-level model. Speculation in a report published on Monday suggests there could be a few big changes to the model's design.
In early August, supposedly leaked CAD data of the iPad's chassis put forward the idea that the model would be slightly wider than the ninth-gen model, and would be slightly slimmer as well. Unnamed Chinese sources of Macotakara seem to go along with the basic size details from that leak, but disagree on a few areas.
For a start, the render showed a typical Home button with Touch ID next to the screen, as well as thin bezels. The sources disagree about the button, insisting that the model instead adopts a side-button Touch ID system like the iPad mini.
There have been reports of the iPad's display growing from 10.2 inches, and eliminating the Home button would facilitate that change. Shifting it to a side button is also plausible, given Apple's previous use of the technique on other devices.
The report's sources also claim that there will be a big change to the FaceTime HD camera, in that it could change position. Currently, the iPad's camera is located midway along the opposite narrow edge to the position of the Home button.
The report sources says that the camera's position could change, with it put on the "right side." The reasoning behind the change is that the Center Stage reframing feature apparent works better when the device is placed horizontally in landscape orientation, and therefore moving the camera would make sense to better accommodate its usage.
Shifting the camera to a different side could be useful in that context, but it would be a very unusual move for Apple given its placement on all its other iPads and iPhones. Furthermore, with the camera using up part of the side bezel, that could be an issue if Apple supposedly shrinks the bezel size to accommodate a larger display.
With no other general rumors or leaks about the Touch ID or camera changes at the time of publication, it seems unlikely that the changes would be made. It would also be odd for Apple to include such a change in the entry-level iPad, when other models like the iPad Pro range are often used to introduce big hardware changes.
The report itself also tempers expectations on the rumors. In the text, it reminds readers it is "still expectation" and that exact details "remain unknown."
Rumors about Apple's hardware changes are expected to increase in pace in the coming weeks, ahead of Apple's expected September event as well as its iPad and Mac-centric October event.