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Exclusive: Chinese supplier floating iPad 2 case with possible SD card and Mini DisplayPort

post #1 of 46
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Exclusive: A Chinese accessory supplier is floating a new "iPad 2nd generation" case differing from previous designs shown at CES, with port openings that appear to be designed to accommodate a new SD Card slot and a new port consistent with the size of a mini DisplayPort jack.

The flexible silicon case designs parallel previous models that have been shown in both hard plastic and rubberized material, with a standard dock connector at the bottom, an opening on the lower right rear that is believed to be for an enlarged internal speaker, a new rear facing camera on the top right, and customary holes for the headphone jack, mute switch and volume controls.

One of the previous designs also included documentation that referenced an SD Card slot and a front facing camera, but did not indicate an opening where the card slot might be located, unless it were integrated into the speaker port area, which would seem unlikely.

However, unlike the previous "alibaba" cases, the newest case design to surface shows a very distinct cutout on the rear upper left corner (a blank area on the current iPad) that appears to be consistent with the size of an SD Card slot. The new case also depicts a cutout on the center of the top edge that appears to be the size of a mini DisplayPort jack, located between the camera hole and the headphone port. This is where the micro-SIM slot is located on 3G versions of the iPad, but it would be curious to cut a case to permanently expose the SIM card holder.






Mini DisplayPort is also roughly the same size as USB, but the iPad's existing Dock connector already supplies USB signals, which can very easily be accessed via a the appropriate cable. The existing iPad lacks a convenient HD video output connection however.

Apple currently supports only component and composite video output as well as VGA-style video out on iPad, in addition to wireless AirPlay video streaming. iPad hardware outputs are limited to standard definition video (480i composite and 480p component output using Apple's cable kits) or 1024x768 VGA-style output using the appropriate Dock connector video extractor cable. That means there's currently no way to send HD video from an iPad to an HDTV unless it supports VGA input, or unless you stream through Apple TV wirelessly via AirPlay.

HDMI video output for more than Apple TV

A number of existing tablets and smartphones are beginning to include mini-HDMI output, and the new Apple TV supplies HDMI video output as its only option. If iPad 2 does indeed increase its screen resolution to 2048x1536 as is rumored to be the case, there would be no way to deliver that increased resolution (or even a down-sampled HD 720p or 1080p signal) via the existing pinouts on the standard Dock connector port.

Apple could potentially change the 30 pin Dock connector on iPad 2 to support HDMI video at the expense of component and composite out and other features, but HDMI output requires at least 19 pins to itself, making efforts to mix HDMI, USB, analog audio, and other control signals a tight fit for the already rather saturated Dock connector.

For that reason, Apple may instead choose to add a HDMI output via a separate connector, just as competitors generally supply separate USB and HDMI ports. This would also simplify charging the device while using it for cabled video output.

Mini DisplayPort on iPad?

Apple is perhaps more likely to add video output via mini DisplayPort, which is around the same physical size as mini HDMI, but supports more sophisticated signaling, and is already used across the company's MacBook and desktop Mac product lines.

Apple's mini DisplayPort connectors function as "dual mode" ports supporting HDMI output, so the inclusion of a mini DisplayPort on iPad 2 would enable both output to HDTVs via HDMI as well as, potentially, connection to a full resolution monitor such as Apple's 27" LED Cinema Display.

A third potential advantage to using mini DisplayPort is that the standard supports video input, as Apple has implemented on the 27 inch iMac. If supported, this would enable iPad 2 to be used as a very high resolution external display by any Mac with mini DisplayPort output.
post #2 of 46
As cool as that could be, couldn't it also be a mini-USB port for charging European models?
post #3 of 46
Doesnt Airplay already handle the HD Output via WIFI?
post #4 of 46
I suppose these could also be for rip-off Chinese versions of the iPad.

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post #5 of 46
One can only hope, especially those of us who are really into photography, as having to use an unsightly dongle is not the most elegant solution for quickly adding pictures to an iPad.
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post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post

As cool as that could be, couldn't it also be a mini-USB port for charging European models?

I am under the impression that Apples external PSU with USB port is sufficient to meet the EUs standards.

Even if its not, why have USB power on separate ends of the device? Id think theyd be fairly close to each other.

Same goes for it being mini-DisplayPort. Pretty much anything you connect it to will require an adapter so why not include the video-out into the 30-pin connector like it already is. I dont see why the 30-pin connector cant scale past VGA to support HDMI/DVI and DisplayPort signaling.

Id say its more likely Apple offers a swivel camera at the top than a power or display port, and I think even a swivle camera is unlikely. Something seems off about molds. They just seem to cheap to be real.
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post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I am under the impression that Apples external PSU with USB port is sufficient to meet the EUs standards.

Even if its not, why have USB power on separate ends of the device? Id think theyd be fairly close to each other.

Same goes for it being mini-DisplayPort. Pretty much anything you connect it to will require an adapter so why not include the video-out into the 30-pin connector like it already is. I dont see why the 30-pin connector cant scale past VGA to support HDMI/DVI and DisplayPort signaling.

Id say its more likely Apple offers a swivel camera at the top than a power or display port, and I think even a swivle camera is unlikely. Something seems off about molds. They just seem to cheap to be real.

Mini-USB could also be a good way to import photos from a digital camera.
post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post

Mini-USB could also be a good way to import photos from a digital camera.

Mini-USB or Micro-USB? I think the EU ruling is for Micro-USB, but do digitial cameras come with Mini-USB cables, and arent those only the smaller USB on the cameras end of the cable but USB-A on the computer end?

PS: To muddle the waters even more, are we talking about A, B or AB?

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post #9 of 46
Via mini-displayport will the touch-sensitive display of the iPad 2 be able to act as a supertrackpad for an iMac or MBP?
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I am under the impression that Apples external PSU with USB port is sufficient to meet the EUs standards.

Even if its not, why have USB power on separate ends of the device? Id think theyd be fairly close to each other.

Same goes for it being mini-DisplayPort. Pretty much anything you connect it to will require an adapter so why not include the video-out into the 30-pin connector like it already is. I dont see why the 30-pin connector cant scale past VGA to support HDMI/DVI and DisplayPort signaling.

Id say its more likely Apple offers a swivel camera at the top than a power or display port, and I think even a swivle camera is unlikely. Something seems off about molds. They just seem to cheap to be real.


Analog audio in and out uses at least 4. USB uses 4. Serial remotes and sense lines use 4. That's 12 pins.

VGA uses 15 pins. HDMI uses 19. Even if you share the video pins, there's not enough to go around, and when you start moving the pins around you break compatibility with existing devices, particularly third party stuff. The Dock connector is saturated.
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archos View Post

Analog audio in and out uses at least 4. USB uses 4. Serial remotes and sense lines use 4. That's 12 pins.

VGA uses 15 pins. HDMI uses 19. Even if you share the video pins, there's not enough to go around, and when you start moving the pins around you break compatibility with existing devices, particularly third party stuff. The Dock connector is saturated.

Excellent point. I did fail to account for the pins. DVI and DP use even more, if I remember correctly.


PS: At some point they will have to transition to optical on these devices. It might be okay for 64GB for syncing data, but what happens when get to larger storage sizes. I’m hoping they will find some way to do a hybrid cooper and optical port like the kind propsed for USB-A with LightPeak optical built in.
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post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by DimMok View Post

Doesnt Airplay already handle the HD Output via WIFI?

Not every device in a business or home has AirPlay and adding this output to an externally much larger screen would be great in impromptu presentations and more.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Not every device in a business or home has AirPlay and adding this output to an externally much larger screen would be great in impromptu presentations and more.

I can see that $99 AppleTV becoming a pretty convenient for wireless streaming from an iPad to an overhead projector.
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post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think the EU ruling is for Micro-USB, but do digitial cameras come with Mini-USB cables, and arent those only the smaller USB on the cameras end of the cable but USB-A on the computer end?

I believe that the EU rules only cover mobile phones. I'm sure that Apple could argue that even the 3G version of the iPad isn't a phone.

Also, as your diagram shows, USB cables specify a host (type A) and slave (type B) based on socket shape. To conform with EU rules and connect directly to camera then the iPad would need both A and B ports.

Mini Display Port makes sense though. Apple already sells all of the adaptors needed for it and I'm sure they would love the chance to reduce the number of items in their inventory. I wouldn't complain either since I already own several of the adaptors for my MBP.
post #15 of 46
At the risk of being proven wrong when it is launched, seems like the iPad is becoming awfully ridden with ports-and-holes, the iPad shown by the casing seems to have it all over the place. 1st gen is tré svelte. Maybe it will still have some decent value even when iPad2 comes out!
post #16 of 46
So are these cases all going to have "AppleInsider.com" on them?

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post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

At the risk of being proven wrong when it is launched, seems like the iPad is becoming awfully ridden with ports-and-holes, the iPad shown by the casing seems to have it all over the place. 1st gen is tré svelte. Maybe it will still have some decent value even when iPad2 comes out!

I know, right? I thought I was the only one who thought it was turning into the "Swiss Army Pad". So far, they managed to keep the iPhone design clean. If true, the iPad 2 will have more holes than Swiss Cheese.

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post #18 of 46
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post #19 of 46
It's an IR port so you can use it as the most awesome remote control ever made. Why spend upwards of $100 (or more) for some fancy universal remote with a 3" screen when you could just buy a simple app and use it on the iPad.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I know, right? I thought I was the only one who thought it was turning into the "Swiss Army Pad". So far, they managed to keep the iPhone design clean. If true, the iPad 2 will have more holes than Swiss Cheese.

Exactly! It's sounding like the iPad2 will cater to every whiner that complained about the first iPad.

Hint to n00bs: jamming USB sticks into iPad2 will *not* make your sneakernet-hobbled digital life any better.
No, you do not want a C: Drive file system on your iPad. Trust me. You can't even figure out the Mac file system!


They need Steve now more than ever. He's the best at managing feature creep, though also good at infuriating people when Apple products lack a certain feature they desire.

I'm starting to think the iPad2 should just be an amorphous blob of liquid metal that will form into anything you want it to do at any time. That will keep the design clean but cater to everyone. "You want to connect your printer via a parallel port? Hell yeah, the iPad2 can do that...!"
post #21 of 46
My wish is that Apple changes the design of the iPod connector port so it doesn't have an upside-down. Small, but massive wish. Won't happen - I know. \
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post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

At the risk of being proven wrong when it is launched, seems like the iPad is becoming awfully ridden with ports-and-holes, the iPad shown by the casing seems to have it all over the place. 1st gen is tré svelte. Maybe it will still have some decent value even when iPad2 comes out!

I agree. My MBP only has ports on one side (and an optical slot on another). So clean! I already hate that my iPhone in the car has power on one end and headphones out the other. The possible pans of the iPad2 with ports on 4 sides are hard to believe...
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post #23 of 46
While I would love a better video out port on the iPad, why have it at the top of the device. That would be strange.

I'm going to say it's simple for access to the SIM card. That may sound strange to us Americans, but other people cross country boundaries as readily as we cross state lines. So they may be swapping SIM cards more frequently than we ever would. Cross from Germany to France? Pop in your French SIM card to get the better rates from a French carrier than you'd get with international roaming from your German carrier.
post #24 of 46
USB isn't even fully supported anyway. The iPad in its current iteration offers about 20mAh of power, maybe a bit more. In 3.2, it offered about 100mAh. Both are insuffcient to even power a compact flash card, let alone USB devices. For low-power transfers, they work.

We are not talking about proper USB power handling. For that, you need to have the external device daisy-chained to an external power source: a computer, or a mains power adapter.
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post #25 of 46
I still think it's a pico projector! I think with the combination of a supposed wide range speaker and these cutouts at the top of cases keep showing up, I think it's would be awesome if it was a projector! Great way if sharing media!!
post #26 of 46
All those holes look fugly.
post #27 of 46
With all the talk about the demise of the home button on the iPad 2, why isn't anyone mentioning that this case clearly has a place for the home button?
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

While I would love a better video out port on the iPad, why have it at the top of the device. That would be strange.

I'm going to say it's simple for access to the SIM card. That may sound strange to us Americans, but other people cross country boundaries as readily as we cross state lines. So they may be swapping SIM cards more frequently than we ever would. Cross from Germany to France? Pop in your French SIM card to get the better rates from a French carrier than you'd get with international roaming from your German carrier.

The hole at the top of the new cases has up till now been "definitively proven" (although I'm not sure by whom), to be the new location of the ambient light sensor. Since neither the Chinese site nor this article can give me a good reason for now thinking it's a mini-display port hole, I'm going to stick with the original as it makes a bit more sense.

Also, if you look at the shape of this case, it's very poorly designed. The way the thing wraps around to the front but only partially covers the bezel is just plain ugly and will put a big rubber ridge under your thumbs all the time you are holding the iPad. Why should we take the words of some clearly awful fly-by-night case manufacturers about anything?

The new hole on the top left might indicate a new port, making the new iPad have *one* extra port than the current one. That's about all anyone can really say definitively about it IMO.
post #29 of 46
It's hard to tell with the angle, but is the cut out for speaker at bottom the same size as cut out on the side?
There is a patent for having multiple speakers (it looked at 3, to give stereo). Having a speaker for each orientation.

As for minidisplayport - it's worth bearing in mind that Apple basically pressed ahead with and shipped the Minidisplayport - then they agreed about it afterwards. Apple would be potentially much more likely to be able to wangle an updated mDP with Light Peak, than a HDMI cable, or a USB cable (though the LP cables so far have been USB3/LP hybrids).
If Apple did want to ship LP - it is interesting to note the recent news that actually they made great progress both with optical, and also plain old copper. Would be much easier to bring the copper side through to market (cost, and also durability - how many consumer grade products have regularly used optical cables bar optical in/out for sound?)

Even if not mDP for LP, they could use to drive 1080p out, which is a great thing. Hope there won't be too many adapters needed!
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gno View Post

I still think it's a pico projector! I think with the combination of a supposed wide range speaker and these cutouts at the top of cases keep showing up, I think it's would be awesome if it was a projector! Great way if sharing media!!

Yeah right. It makes sense to build a blinding white light into a consumer product played with by children.

It would also destroy the battery in a minute and a half flat.
post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by t0mat0 View Post

It's hard to tell with the angle, but is the cut out for speaker at bottom the same size as cut out on the side?
There is a patent for having multiple speakers (it looked at 3, to give stereo). Having a speaker for each orientation.

As for minidisplayport - it's worth bearing in mind that Apple basically pressed ahead with and shipped the Minidisplayport - then they agreed about it afterwards. Apple would be potentially much more likely to be able to wangle an updated mDP with Light Peak, than a HDMI cable, or a USB cable (though the LP cables so far have been USB3/LP hybrids).
If Apple did want to ship LP - it is interesting to note the recent news that actually they made great progress both with optical, and also plain old copper. Would be much easier to bring the copper side through to market (cost, and also durability - how many consumer grade products have regularly used optical cables bar optical in/out for sound?)

Even if not mDP for LP, they could use to drive 1080p out, which is a great thing. Hope there won't be too many adapters needed!

I think miniDP is the best port for Apple to use because that will offer VGA, DVI, and so on. But Apple really needs to make their own MiniDP to HDMI cable. Seriously. I hope the iPad2 with miniDP out and 1080p support etc. coincides with Apple releasing a miniDP to HDMI adaptor. Sorely needed.
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Not every device in a business or home has AirPlay and adding this output to an externally much larger screen would be great in impromptu presentations and more.

Any business can have AirPlay for $99.

And, I disagree that it would be great for impromptu presentations. I think it would be extremely cumbersome to have to hold a tablet with a big cable sticking out of it. How many people are using the VGA cable now to do this?

What would be great for presentations is using an iPhone + AirPlay.
post #33 of 46
If this case is legit, they apparently opted not to include a flash on the rear camera module...
post #34 of 46
yeah!
Potential is limitless
post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsd View Post

With all the talk about the demise of the home button on the iPad 2, why isn't anyone mentioning that this case clearly has a place for the home button?

Because that speculation was never governed by logical thought.
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post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I think miniDP is the best port for Apple to use because that will offer VGA, DVI, and so on. But Apple really needs to make their own MiniDP to HDMI cable. Seriously. I hope the iPad2 with miniDP out and 1080p support etc. coincides with Apple releasing a miniDP to HDMI adaptor. Sorely needed.

Just buy one from monoprice. Even if Apple made such a cable I'd recommend getting one elsewhere.
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post #37 of 46
Why is the display port on the top!! Better to be on the bottom? No?
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I believe that the EU rules only cover mobile phones. I'm sure that Apple could argue that even the 3G version of the iPad isn't a phone.

Also, as your diagram shows, USB cables specify a host (type A) and slave (type B) based on socket shape. To conform with EU rules and connect directly to camera then the iPad would need both A and B ports.

Mini Display Port makes sense though. Apple already sells all of the adaptors needed for it and I'm sure they would love the chance to reduce the number of items in their inventory. I wouldn't complain either since I already own several of the adaptors for my MBP.

It needs to be an OTG port then only it will make sense.
post #39 of 46
These cases are more of a WAG then a reliable indication of what the iPad 2 will look like or what ports it will have. As with iPod Nano before, only cases released like a month before are reliable, but since we dont really know the release date its just speculation.

However I like where this speculation is going.
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post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Exactly! It's sounding like the iPad2 will cater to every whiner that complained about the first iPad.

Hint to n00bs: jamming USB sticks into iPad2 will *not* make your sneakernet-hobbled digital life any better.
No, you do not want a C: Drive file system on your iPad. Trust me. You can't even figure out the Mac file system!


They need Steve now more than ever. He's the best at managing feature creep, though also good at infuriating people when Apple products lack a certain feature they desire.

I'm starting to think the iPad2 should just be an amorphous blob of liquid metal that will form into anything you want it to do at any time. That will keep the design clean but cater to everyone. "You want to connect your printer via a parallel port? Hell yeah, the iPad2 can do that...!"

Of course, the rumors preceding the run-up to any Apple product release sound like they're catering to every whiner, because that's the nature of these rumors. Wishful thinking, for the most part.
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