CUPERTINO, Ca.–The big whisper from the Apple campus here in Cupertino is that Apple’s new iPad 5 and iPad Mimi 2 will introduce fading keypad letters. This innovation, one of several iPad redesign elements in the offing, has the potential to be the breakout star of Apple’s fall launch event scheduled for October 22.
“Our development teams have been hard at work on a truly amazing new feature that we can’t wait to introduce,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a conference call earlier this week.
Mr. Cook then said that the rumored 64-bit processor, a 20-percent-thinner screen, and narrower bezels for the iPad 5 would not be “the big news” at Apple’s October 22 event.
“Those items are available already in the iPhone 5s and the iPad Mini I,” he continued. “Cannibalizing them for the iPad would be enough to excite the faithful and move a lot of units, but as Steve (Jobs) was fond of saying, ‘He who isn’t busy being born is busy dying.’ So we need to reach out to people who have resisted the iPad experience because it doesn’t provide everything they’re used to with desktop computers. We think we’ve found a way to do that.”
Enter the fading keypad, which is designed to mimic “the old-shoe look of an actual keyboard after it’s been beat to shit,” said one source at Apple. Toward that end the letters and symbols on the keys on the fading keypad will “just fucking disappear eventually if they get used enough.”
Is Apple banking on the fact that people for whom life just wouldn’t be the same without clapped out n, s, o, or u keys might now become Apple converts?
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer refused to confirm or deny the fading keyboard rumors, but he did say that if a customer with a faded keypad chose to, he could return that iPad 5 to Apple and receive a new one for a service fee of $99.95, just as people do when iPad batteries go tits up.
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