A new leak for what appears to be the singular hardware button on the front side of Apple’s iOS-powered iPad 3 tablet suggests that the third incarnation of the slate will retain a button design, rather than go without any buttons as was previously suggested by some speculations with an iPhone 5 model before the iPhone 4S was announced.
The iPad 3′s home button retains the size and shape of the iPad 2′s home button, but sports a different icon imprinted on the button to represent the home screen. What’s interesting though is that the internal structure of the home button for the iPad 3 is smaller than that for the iPad 2, suggesting Apple may have other plans for the conserved space:
Perhaps the most interesting part about the iPad 3 home button is that its internal structuring is smaller than the iPad 2′s connector (easy to tell in the comparison shot above). Apple tweaking the home button structural design and making its size smaller may indicate that Apple is trying to make room for something else. The iPad 3 is already rumored to be nearly 1mm thicker to accommodate a more pixel-dense Retina Display. Perhaps this slightly smaller home button is one method Apple is using to keep the extra thickness required to a minimum.
Additionally, it is believed that the iPad 3 will be available in both black and white variants at release.
9to5 Mac, which is reporting on the leaked buttons, says that there are quite a few buttons floating around, suggesting that Apple is close to final production.