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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    As cool as that could be, couldn't it also be a mini-USB port for charging European models?
  • Reply 2 of 46
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Doesnt Airplay already handle the HD Output via WIFI?
  • Reply 3 of 46
    I suppose these could also be for rip-off Chinese versions of the iPad.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 Apple?s external PSU with USB port is sufficient to meet the EU?s standards.



    Even if it?s not, why have USB power on separate ends of the device? I?d think they?d 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 don?t see why the 30-pin connector can?t scale past VGA to support HDMI/DVI and DisplayPort signaling.



    I?d say it?s 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.
  • Reply 6 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I am under the impression that Apple?s external PSU with USB port is sufficient to meet the EU?s standards.



    Even if it?s not, why have USB power on separate ends of the device? I?d think they?d 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 don?t see why the 30-pin connector can?t scale past VGA to support HDMI/DVI and DisplayPort signaling.



    I?d say it?s 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.
  • Reply 7 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 aren?t those only the smaller USB on the camera?s 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?
  • Reply 8 of 46
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,470member
    Via mini-displayport will the touch-sensitive display of the iPad 2 be able to act as a supertrackpad for an iMac or MBP?
  • Reply 9 of 46
    archosarchos Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I am under the impression that Apple?s external PSU with USB port is sufficient to meet the EU?s standards.



    Even if it?s not, why have USB power on separate ends of the device? I?d think they?d 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 don?t see why the 30-pin connector can?t scale past VGA to support HDMI/DVI and DisplayPort signaling.



    I?d say it?s 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.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 11 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.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    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 aren?t those only the smaller USB on the camera?s 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.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 46
    So are these cases all going to have "AppleInsider.com" on them?
  • Reply 16 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.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,606member
    LightPeak \



    (Versatile, blindingly fast, low power, future proof)
  • Reply 18 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.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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...!"
  • Reply 20 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,617member
    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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