Source: SD Card slot on Apple's next-gen iPad just a rumor

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
With Apple expected to take the wraps off its second-generation iPad in the next few months, talk has focused largely around the potential hardware enhancements to the tablet device, including rumors of an SD Card slot that AppleInsider sources now suggest is unlikely to materialize.

SD Card Slot Rumors

That particular rumor appears to have gained its legs back in December when a pair of China-based case manufacturers leaked images of their upcoming iPad 2 protectors, which were presumably based off design schematics that often originate from Apple ahead of new product introductions and get passed around gray markets in the Far East.

One of those cases was reportedly accompanied by documentation that 'suggested' one of its cutouts could provide access to an SD Card slot like those commonly found on today's MacBook Pros, while another was a circular opening for a rear camera that would accompany a front-mounted camera for Apple's FaceTime technology.

The SD Card slot rumor gained a few more shots in the arm earlier this month through a handful of media reports and AppleInsider's discovery of yet another set of next-gen iPad cases, which suspiciously included a cutout for a slot on the upper left-hand side, opposite to where you'd find the volume and mute controls on the existing iPad.

In a mockup analysis of all the openings and recesses in those cases, it was speculated that that left-side opening could represent the much-rumored SD Card slot. However, a person that AppleInsider trusts on matters such as these has since rebutted that notion, stating instead that the break in the next-gen iPad enclosure at that location is actually a relocation of the tablet's SIM card slot.Â*(This could signal a smaller logic board in the next iPad and better battery life via and even larger battery).

That may explain why some of the other next-gen iPad casings making the rounds don't sport the same opening, as users of 3G iPads aren't likely to need ready access to the SIM slot on a daily basis. And like Gruber's sources on the subject, the same person referenced above gave no indication that there's an SD Card slot elsewhere on the device.

Missing Features

Still, that's not to say an SD Card slot hasn't been considered or won't surface in the future, as Apple is notorious for yanking features from its hardware designs in the final moments before the products hit the assembly lines. Sometimes they resurface in a latter revision, while others are forgone forever.

For example, there were two core I/O features heavily rumored leading up to last year's launch of the current iPad which failed to materialize on the shipping product because they were axed by the Cupertino-based company right before the device went into production.

The first, and most publicized, was a forward-facing camera. (There were also prototypes of a model featuring two cameras -- one on the front, one on the back -- like the iPad that's expected to debut this year, according to people familiar with the matter.) Evidence to this end quickly turned up in the first teardowns of the device last spring.

"From our original teardown what we found most interesting was the ambient light sensor connector," Luke Soules, co-founder and teardown specialist at iFixit, told AppleInsider. "That connector has way more pins than you'd need for just an ambient light sensor and looks more similar to a typical camera connector."

That connector is highlighted in red in the photo above. "Also, next to that connector, highlighted in blue [Â?] you can see unused solder points for a BGA [ball grid array] chip which could have been intended for a camera control chip," Soules added. "We think Apple was intending to put a camera in the original iPad, but for some reason changed their mind at the last minute."

Meanwhile, another I/O feature once planned for the inaugural iPad and pulled at the last minute was a second Dock Connector that would have allowed the tablet to be used in landscape mode with accessories like Apple's iPad Dock with Keyboard, according to people familiar with the device's initial development.

According to those same people, vague signs of that aborted implementation are also evident in early teardown photos of the iPad's logic board but hidden beneath a piece of black tape around the left-hand side of the device near the SIM connector flex, which is also said to sport a few too many pins to have been designed exclusively for a SIM .

Indeed, photographs of a first-gen iPad enclosure showing both portrait and landscape Dock Connector ports would later surface but were misreported at the time by those who discovered them as potential enclosures for the second-generation iPad. It's unlikely that this proposed feature will ever see the light of day.

When asked -- given his insight into Apple's hardware designs and logistics -- what he thinks of the rumors that Apple would be adding an SD Card slot to the iPad at this time, Soules said, "I don't see it happening."

For more on Apple's second-generation iPad, see AppleInsider's iPad 2 information archive.


  • Reply 1 of 75
    Oh man! I hope there is an SD card slot in iPad 2!
  • Reply 2 of 75
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 434member
    I don't. That would make my existing SD card reader for the Dock Connector nearly useless.
  • Reply 3 of 75
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    I don't understand why you guys keep showing this case as having a hole at the top for a "mini-display port." There is less rumour (and no solid factual evidence at all), telling us that hole is for a mini-display port, than there is for the SD card slot.

    This is supposedly a definitive article saying the SD slot isn't going to be happening, but yet you include this wild rumour about the mini-display port that makes no sense, has no support even in the rumour-sphere, and already has a perfectly good explanation (it's actually rumoured to be for the new ambient light sensor).

    Why, why, why would they put a mini-display port, on the top of the computer when there is already a standard (at least to Apple) video-out port on the bottom of the very same computer?

    The whole idea is ridiculous. Even if it's not the ambient light sensor, it's way more likely to be a micro-usb port than a mini-display port up there.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,990member
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    SD Card slot on Apple's next-gen iPad just a rumor.

    Please AI... Inform all of us not in-the-know exactly what you know about the iPad2 that is NOT a rumor? That headline is really misleading.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    I just want the high res display. Pretty please let that one be true.
  • Reply 6 of 75
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

    Please AI... Inform all of us not in-the-know exactly what you know about the iPad2 that is NOT a rumor? That headline is really misleading.

    Exactly. Until Apple reveals the product, it's all rumor...
  • Reply 7 of 75
    robhrobh Posts: 8member
    Apple were never going to give away an SD card slot when they can charge much more for built-in storage.

    More interested in where are the Sandy Bridge Macs... Previously we've had Intel announce new chips and Apple launch at the same time. It has been ages now!
  • Reply 8 of 75
    Why would a case have an opening for a SIM card? It's not like it's something that you really need access to. In the rare case that you needed to access it you would just take the iPad out of it's case...
  • Reply 9 of 75
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,692member
    Well, if you think someone is leaking information, the best way to be sure it's them is to show them fake information that no one else sees, then, see where it ends up. The SD slot rumor could just be the result of a counter-industrial-espionage effort. Anyone been fired or arrested lately?
  • Reply 10 of 75
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Rumor web site publishes rumors that dispute previous rumors.

    News at 11:00.

    This just in, Francisco Franco is still dead.
  • Reply 11 of 75
    iliveriliver Posts: 299member
    Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

    I just want the high res display. Pretty please let that one be true.

    Agreed- only that would make me buy one.
  • Reply 12 of 75
    Originally Posted by troehl View Post

    Why would a case have an opening for a SIM card? It's not like it's something that you really need access to. In the rare case that you needed to access it you would just take the iPad out of it's case...

    Exactly what I was thinking. Nearly every case for the 3G iPad covers the SIM card slot, mainly since it's never really meant to be removed. It doesn't make sense to have a carve out for it.

    An SD card slot would make sense for people to easily offload photos onto it without the need of a computer or dongle, so there's still the possibility of it happening. But for the sim card? hardly.
  • Reply 13 of 75
    I really don't see Apple adding an SD card slot. I don't think it's what most people want. I haven't touched an SD card in about 5 years. There is just no benefit for most users. No way!
  • Reply 14 of 75
    Originally Posted by DougMcNerd View Post

    I haven't touched an SD card in about 5 years.

    Don't have a digital camera? Or camcorder?

    I use an SDHC card in a SDHC-USB adapter thing as a USB flash drive. Easy upgrading when capacities come down in price.
  • Reply 15 of 75
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    SD always made more sense to me than USB... but both are niche enough that they?d be nice, yet not of much mainstream use. We forum-goers are not the mainstream in question! (Of course, as a tech spec fan as much as anyone, one more bullet point IS fun to me! So I hope there?s some new connector or two. If not, it?s not a dealbreaker for me.)

    It?s OK to leave that kind of thing as an accessory; some people would use it, some wouldn?t.

    What I REALLY want is retina display, and I think I need a time machine or I can?t have it...
  • Reply 16 of 75
    Rumors always over exaggerate what the next update of Apple products will be and are seldom accurate. I think we will just see a slimmer lighter case with a A4 processor and 512K memory, 1 or 2 small cameras and nothing else new. All these rumors about a A5 processor, extra ports, and a retina display are just made up rumors. I would like to see them be true but it doesn't seem likely. Apple just doesn't move that fast.
  • Reply 17 of 75
    Apple is trying to get away from old technology, like SD cards (as much as the manufacturers would like you to think of it as new, because it's SDHC or such). If you have a camera or camcorder, you can always se an adapter, but I suspect that Apple will encourage the use of secure cloud storage rather than on a chip. iPads already have wireless-N included, and you can always get an EyeFi? card for your camcorder or camera.
  • Reply 18 of 75
    this may be short sighted on my part...but I don't want the new iPad to have either USB or an SD card.

    I don't want to be fiddling around with SD cards or thumb drives...I use my iPhone exclusively for photos and video. And I certainly don't want any cables (USB) "dangling" from my iPad. I hate cables!

    I'm waiting for the the next gen., iPad not because I think the second gen., will be lighter, faster, thinner with new features (that's a given with Apple), it's simply, I didn't have the "cabbage" when the first gen iPad was introduced....All I could afford was the iPhone 4 (selling my 3Gs).


    PS. If I went on an African safari, perhaps I would invest in an SLR. But if I did, I would also invest in a wifi SD card too. Again I don't want to have to remember to carry or carry cables and crap around if I can avoid it! Best
  • Reply 19 of 75
    Originally Posted by NotRichard View Post

    Apple is trying to get away from old technology, like SD cards (as much as the manufacturers would like you to think of it as new, because it's SDHC or such).

    That's why Apple, after years of not having SD card slots on their computers, not only put SD card slots on EVERY computer they sell, but nigh-on future-proofed them by making all the slots SDXC, of which virtually no cards even exist yet, with the spec having at least a decade more life in it.

    OBVIOUSLY they're trying to get away from "old technology".
  • Reply 20 of 75
    SD card slots are simply a must. Big thumbs down if Apple doesn't include one.

    I totally understand Apple's drive for simplicity but this is a no-brainer. SD cards are everywhere and nearly everyone has a few laying around. They're super handy.

    SD Cards & LightPeak (NOT usb, firewire, hdmi and minidisplay) are all you need

    Two ways of connecting to Rule Them All!
Sign In or Register to comment.