Apple is to omit home buttons from the iPad 2 and iPhone 5, rumours suggest, as it moves to a fully touch-operated user interface for its next-gen smartphones and tablets.
Speculation over the company’s plans stems from a report from tech mavens BGR in which it is claimed that button-free versions of the gadgets are already being trialled in US at the Apple campus.
Instead of physical home buttons, the prototype models feature “new multitouch gestures to navigate to the home screen and also to launch the app switcher” the site claims, citing sources within the Cupertino based tech giant.
News of the company’s plans comes after Engadget uncovered what appear to be provisional product names for future iterations of the iPad and iPhone in the just-released source code for iOS 4.3.
Apple is expected to announce its second tilt at tablet computing in February or March and is rumoured to be prepping a device with a substantially beefed-up speaker, a super high density retina display a la the iPhone 4 and dual cameras.
The fifth iPhone – not counting Verizon’s CDMA version – is set for launch in June, in keeping with Apple’s regular-as-clockwork product refresh policy.
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