A new report by Japanese Apple (s aapl) blog MacOtakara (via AppleInsider) published Thursday claims the next iPad will have a flat back like the iPod touch, a better speaker with a wider range, and a smaller bezel around the screen, reducing the overall size of the device.
MacOtakara cites an “anonymous Chinese source,” as the origin of the new rumor. According to the source, the new iPad’s back won’t have a curved back, and will taper into a flat surface, much like the iPod touch’s current back casing. It’s a minor change, but it could reduce overall device width, and make it a little bit easier to use the device when it’s placed on a flat surface.
The iPad will also take up less space on your desk, if the new information proves correct. The overall footprint of the iPad 2 will apparently shave a little more than 3mm off of its current height and width, resulting in a 239mm x 186mm total size. The screen will remain the same, with the size savings being shaved off the bezel that surrounds it instead.
The new design would also see the ambient light sensor move to the back of the device, which might be done to allow for the smaller bezel. That Apple would change the position of the light sensor strikes me as odd, since you’d think the best place to test the light would be on the screen, since that’s the whole point.
Finally, according to this new source, the bottom of the device will feature a larger, “wide-range” speaker with a mesh grill cover. This also strikes me as odd, since the current iPad has a remarkably good speaker in my opinion, but it might help prevent it from being so easily covered.
As always, take these rumors with a grain of salt, but it’s the season we should start hearing tons of reports. And as is usually the case with each Apple product release, some will inevitably turn out to be correct.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):