Let’s not act surprised here. We all knew this was coming. Rumors had not “indicated” that the upcoming tablet refresh, the iPad 5, will feature a fingerprint sensor but it has long been suspected ever since iPhone 5s appeared with the TouchID.
Now, a video from Unbox Therapy shows (what is allegedly) the iPad 5 front-panel and incidentally, the home button void does not fit the old home buttons we have (on iPhone 5, iPad etc.) Interestingly, the TouchID home button of the iPhone 5s fits perfectly.
Watch the embedded video to have a glimpse at the source of the rumor:
The iPad 5 panels have long been rumored to be thinner (with thinner bezels) and also to be inspired from iPad Mini’s design. This effectively reduces the width of the iPad 5 but since the bezel is thinner, the screen size remains the same. You have a 9.7″ retina display but this time, holding the iPad is going to be easier, lighter and more comfortable.
So far, we have been hearing only a few spec rumors about iPad 5. For instance, we have heard that the iPad 5 could feature camera upgrades (8MP iSight). Also, eyes are set on the A7X that should power the iPad 5. But other than these tentative remarks, it’s the design that has almost always found a spot in the media. As you can see, the iPad 5 has a very iPad Mini-esque design.
Just like the lightning connector, it is evident that Apple is planning to make TouchID a standard security feature in all its devices. If that thought holds good, we must have an iPad 5 (and possibly an iPad Mini 2) featuring TouchID home buttons. This explains the reason for the smaller cutout on the panel so as to accommodate the TouchID fingerprint sensor.
The iPad 5 is expected to be released this month although no supply chain chatter has pointed to any concrete dates as yet. Last year, we had an iPad refresh about this time.