Patently Apple has found new iPad design patents from China that show an extra 30-pin dock connector port that'll allow for landscape docking and a mysterious feature which may be Apple's "Smart Bezel Feature".
If this new design is real, it makes some sense (at least, more sense than a 7-inch iPad). Having the option to dock the iPad in landscape mode would double the convenience for iPad owners who, well, frequently dock their iPad.
The "Smart Bezel Feature" is a very interesting idea—one we think would be successful—but we don't know what Apple would do with it. The patent for the "Smart Bezel Feature" explained that the bezel around the iPad would be touch sensitive and suggested that users could use the bezel to adjust volume, settings for displays, to zoom in and out and maybe even to use for gaming controls.
But in this image, it looks like the feature is placed in only one corner of the iPad. Would it still be using the "Smart Bezel Feature" to accomplish tasks? Does it act like a hot corner or an extra button or is it more of a smaller gesture area? The previous patent suggested a broad gesture area for multiple functions but putting it onto only the bottom left corner of the iPad makes it seem a little more limited in scope. If only they would create "hot corners" like the way Jesus imagined. [Patently Apple]