Dual-dock iPad design gets official EU thumbs-up
Two-port look chosen for the iPad 2?
The next iPad will indeed sport two dock connectors - one on the short side of the device, the other on the long edge - if recently published application for European design protection is anything to go by.
The design was registered with the European Union trademarks registrar on 14 July this year, but only published late last week and spotted by website Patently Apple. The paperwork asociated with the registration clearly shows an iPad with two dock connectors.
Hints that the next iPad might double up dock ports this way - to allow the tablet to be docked in either landscape or portrait orientation - appeared a month or so back, but it's a design that was first discussed some time ago, before the launch of the first iPad.
That led many observers to suspect that the recent re-appearance of the dual-port layout was a hang over from some early but rejected iPad design. That the look has now turned up in the European design database suggests that Apple is at least thinking about bringing the design to market.
Given the timing of the registration, it would seem that the next iPad will be the one featuring the two-port layout.
Unless, of course, Apple is registering the design simply to prevent any of its tablet-making rivals from doing so... ®
It seems to me that any 'dock connector' should be eradicated from a device like this - it's clearly not needed and just messes up the lines of the device.
You should be able to put it on a dock/stand/table in any orientation and have it:
1: charge the battery inductively. I know, not 100% efficient, but when's that stopped anyone?
2: communicate (music/data/etc) over a very short range (2cm?), low power RF link.
If that's not acceptable, modify the 'magsafe' connector to include a data pair and use that - it's contact technology, but would be better than a conventional plug/socket arrangement.
The tech is there and perfectly achievable. Just waiting for a mass market company to implement it. I'm surprised apple haven't done so already!
I'm surprised no-one's commented on what appears to be a camera lens in the bezel on the left-hand edge (top of the device when held in portrait).
Keyboard clamshell thing
Like the HP/Compaq tablets?
My TC1100 doesn't botrher with any of this doubledock stuff.
It has a docking port on its back, and then the docking station can rotate!
Hope they patented that, otherwise Apple'll do their retrospective bitching thing again
Sounds possibly like it could be used for the keyboard dock to allow use of the iPad with the dock in landscape mode.
The current designs of the dock and iPad only allows the iPad to be used in portrait mode, which is somewhat uncomfortable to use for prolonged periods of time. Being able to use the iPad with a keyboard dock in landscape mode would make it easier. Currently, the only way to use a keyboard with an iPad in landscape at the moment is to jack in either the camera kit (good luck finding one!) and then a USB keyboard to it, or use bluetooth. Either one is a compromise as if you use the keyboard for bluetooth, you can't use a bluetooth headset. And if you use the camera kit and USB keyboard, you can't charge the thing or get video out to a TV at the same time. The only logical solution is two connectors - one for keyboard/charging, and another for TV out. Likewise the same two ports will allow one to plug the iPad into the existing dock in either portrait or landscape mode, or even facilitate the use of a case with a built-in keyboard which uses the dock on the long side while leaving the dock on the short side free for charging and/or TV out.
re: "Unless, of course, Apple is registering the design simply to prevent ..."
How does that qualify as non-obvious?
There are already screens which can be used in portrait or landscape mode, I strongly suspect that they do indeed have data-input ports.
Bah, bad EU!