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Apple to finally fix 13-year-old error in the iPad’s design, report claims

Monday March 11, 2024. 03:07 PM , from Macworld Reviews

There’s an important and long-desired change coming to Apple’s iPad range, and it’s been more than a decade in the making.

The second-gen iPad, which came out in 2011, was the first model with cameras. This included a front-facing camera, positioned on one of the short edges so it sat at the top when holding the device in portrait orientation. Perfect for selfies, but less ideal for video chats where the iPad is more commonly positioned in landscape mode.

It took a while, but eventually, Apple realized that for some customers, maybe even most customers (after all, who spends their time taking selfies with an iPad?!), it might make more sense to position the front camera in one of the long edges. This realization resulted in the launch of the reconfigured 10th-gen iPad in October 2022.

The 6th-gen iPad Pro models which came out at the same time did not, however, get the new camera layout, even though they cost more and normally get the desirable new features and design changes before the standard models. The most likely explanation is that the Pros (like the Air) have connectors for the Apple Pencil in the most suitable long edge, so it would have been a more difficult redesign for them.

Apple hasn’t released any new iPads since then, so it’s been difficult to assess how the company felt about the success of the landscape camera design, or whether it planned to release more devices along the same lines. But our long iPad drought should soon be coming to an end. New iPad Air and (OLED-equipped) iPad Pro models are expected to arrive this spring, and new evidence supports the theory that they will all get the 2022 landscape camera layout.

A Weibo leaker named Instant Digital (as reported by MacRumors), claims that the 10.9- and new 12.9-inch versions of the 6th-gen iPad Air will have their selfie camera on the long edge. Added to the discovery earlier this year of code suggesting the same change is coming to the iPad Pro, it now looks like we’re going to get the full set of properly aligned cameras.

Of course, we won’t know until the tablets are actually announced. (You can keep up with the latest news and rumors with our new iPad Pro and new iPad Air superguides.) But it would certainly make sense, and correct an error that Apple customers have been living with for 13 years.


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