How long as Apple been doing the whole glossy glass, black border, brushed metal look? Ever since the Cupertino, California based company launched the aluminum PowerBook G4 in 2003, just about every Apple product released thereafter has looked remarkably similar. We don’t wish to say that as an insult, good design doesn’t age, but according to DigiTimes, one of our favorite rumors sites since they have an above average track record at getting these things right, Apple is due to shake up their entire lineup next year. They say the iPad, iMac, iPhone, and MacBook Air will get a fresh new design language, though they don’t specify what exactly Apple has up their sleeves. We’ll have to wait until the second half of 2012 to see the new iPhone and iMac, but according to them the iPad 3 is due to come out in the first half of 2012.
Funny thing about the iPad 3 is that Apple has yet to finalize the list of components that’ll define what it will actually be. Supposedly there are two different prototypes floating around called J1 and J2. The difference between them being that one has a screen with double the vertical and horizontal pixels, effectively a resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels, while the other isn’t quite as ambitious and only bumps up the resolution by a factor of around 150%, meaning a resolution of 1600 by 1200 pixels. Given the choice we’d of course want the higher resolution display, but that being said we’ll take anything. This author refuses to buy an iPad because of how aliased the text look compared to his iPhone 4.
Here’s what we know: Back in April of this year Apple hired a dude named Kevin M. Kenney. He’s an expert on manipulating carbon fiber. His title is “Senior Composites Engineer”, so he’s basically doing research on new materials. Also, back in August 2010, Apple picked up “substantially all of Liquidmetal’s intellectual property assets”, Liquidmetal being a company that makes a metal that’s ultra strong, yet at the same time very flexible, which enables Apple to come up with more interesting form factors.
We’re excited, but we’ll just have to wait to find out what’s really going on.