Apple finally sent out invitations for its iPad 3 media event this morning. The invites included the date, March 7th, the place, San Francisco, and a brief message: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

As usual, Apple has embedded some subtle clues in the invitation that give away details regarding the event and what it will be talking about. And like everyone else, we’ve attempted to decode these cryptic messages…

Let’s start with the obvious — the icons. There are three apps visible in the invitation: Maps, Calendar, and Keynote. The maps icon shows 1 Infinite Loop, Apple’s headquarters. The Calendar app shows the event’s date, March 7th. And the Keynote app, well that should be obvious. Apple will undoubtedly be presenting something.

Now let’s take a look at the iPad in the picture. A lot of folks are speculating that this is indeed the iPad 3. You can’t tell much about the tablet from the close-up, low-resolution photo, but it appears to echo numerous reports that the slate will look extremely similar to its predecessor.

A lot of folks have pointed out that there is no Home button on the iPad in the photo, leading to speculation that Apple’s new tablet won’t feature one. While this would be cool for a number of reasons, we don’t think it’s very plausible. Apple more than likely turned the iPad sideways for the photo to keep the invite’s background smooth. Or maybe they’re just messing with us.

And finally, the message. This one is a doozy. “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” could be interpreted a number of ways. The ‘touch’ portion of the message is more than likely referring to the new iPad, but what about the first part? What could Apple want us to see? Is this referencing the new Apple TV we’ve been hearing about? Or maybe it’s just pointing to the new iPad’s Retina display — which has been described as “truly amazing.”

We obviously won’t know for sure what any of this means until Apple’s event next week, but it’s always fun to flex our deduction skills.

What do you think of Apple’s invite? Have you drawn any different conclusions?

  • oh man here we go

  • I think that the “see” part is referencing the retina display and that “touch” is hinting at the possible lack of a home button. I’m justifying this by saying that you wouldn’t be “pressing” the home button but “touching” the bezel instead. I also think that the Apple TV may be officially revealed at the keynote on March 7th.

    • Vid Logar

      I’m sure apple will not remove home button belive me! iTV maybe

      • Anonymous

        Why would you disregard the possibility that Apple might be removing the home button? After all the iPad has been introduced to gesture controls that pretty much render the home button useless. Or another possibility is that they are embracing bezel gestures. I don’t think removing the home button is such a far fetched idea

      • Kok Hean

        How about entering DFU mode? How will that work?

      • Anonymous

        @Kok Hean – There is no set way of entering DFU mode…if Apple chose to remove the home button, they could easily implement another way of entering DFU mode. One method is not the only way of doing it. Plus, with Apple trying to cut down on jailbreaking, making it harder to enter DFU mode seems like a step in the right direction, for Apple anyways.

      • Anonymous

        @Kok Hean – There is no set way of entering DFU mode…if Apple chose to remove the home button, they could easily implement another way of entering DFU mode. One method is not the only way of doing it. Plus, with Apple trying to cut down on jailbreaking, making it harder to enter DFU mode seems like a step in the right direction, for Apple anyways.

  • Read some interesting tweets where someone pointed out the font used has been specific to Retina displays. I still need a new macbook before I can get an iPad, but i love this speculation stuff!

  • See = Apple TV
    Touch = IPad 3

    And the “mystery accessory” mooted is something to work between the two

    • There is nothing needed between the iPad and Apple TV, unless they are integrating Siri into both I don’t see how a ‘new accesory’ would fit in. An improved remote with gestures and a mic (for Siri) maybe?

  • No Whammy

    Wow Cody, you’re a one man Biuro Szyfrow.

  • That display is most certainly high PPI than the one on iPad/iPad 2. It’s “retina” iPad for sure.

  • new iPod Touch!!

  • Cortland Robinson

    Look at the light reflecting off the thumbs fingernail. That’s not coming from the iPad screen. It looks like its coming from where the camera is. Super bright… Like a TV, or something else emitting the bright light.

    • its called photography lighting…

  • Okay, here it is:

    It’s obviously a 5 icon dock based on the spacing between each icon. That means the device is in landscape and thus no home button. The Maps means that Maps will finally be upgraded. The Calendar icon is obviously the date of the announcement. The Keynote icon means that there will be a Keynote Presentation (possibly updated iWork). This leaves room for 2 other icons- 2 other announcements. One could be the iTV (or updated apple tv), one could simply be the iPad itself, or something else.

    Obviously the “see” is the retina screen, and the “touch” could mean either the lack of a home button or it being just an iPad.

    • David Villamizar

      I think the maps doesnt mean any new feature in the app but a symbol of the place wher the keynote will be

    • Map would be to show it’s at Cupertino, like “Let’s Talk iPhone” last year. It could also be four icons in portrait…but we’ll just have to see.

      Ad@m

      • buuuuut the event is in san francisco, not in Cupertino where the Maps icon depicts…

      • My bad, I guess you could be right.

        Ad@m

  • *grabs tinfoil hat and tub of popcorn*

  • what is missing is the second part of the text: “…if you know what we mean ;-)”

  • I thought the maps icon might have something to do with finally revealing what they’re doing with all the mapping technology they’ve been buying.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think we’ll see an upgraded maps app. Not yet anyway, and when we finally do it’ll premiere on the iPhone, not the iPad. Far more people use their iPhone for GPS navigation than iPad.

    The other reasons being the icon is still the same old maps icon. You’d assume if they were producing new maps technology they’d lose the Google Maps icon. The only other possibility is that they’ve worked out a deal with Google to include all the features that Android maps has had for ages. But given the current competitive climate between Google and Apple I somehow doubt that!

    The picture is obviously showing a retina display, but I don’t think they’re trying to tell us much more than that.I really hope they do lose the home button and incorporate the bezel for gestures in some way, but its probably just a shot in landscape position.

    We’ll just have to wait and see, but at least the cat is finally half-way out of the bag 🙂

  • Maybe the hand is covering the home button to trick us.

    Ad@m

  • Maybe they mean the ipad 3 has “haptic” feedback or a really nice lipophobic screen (which seems possible since that stuff came out for shoes).

  • the ipad is in Portrait mode…how do i know? look at the background, look at the water drops. this is a picture of the bottom right hand corner of the ipad. but there shouldn’t be 3 icons so close to each other on the right side. what does that mean? will we finally be able to have more icons on the ipad screen without jailbreaking?

    now where is my thank you?

  • Jonathan Yerger

    @Vid Logar is right. Apple isn’t going to remove the iconic home button.