Whether you like Apple products or not, you have to give the company credit for developing a massive following. Appleís iPhone has secured a loyal fan base in the smartphone arena, and many tech consumers wonít stray from Macs to the more widespread and commonly used Microsoft PCs. The iPad is another story thatís even more impressive, as the tablet can be credited with making tablet devices wildly popular.
As is usually the case with any Apple release, the anticipation for the upcoming iPad 3 is quite high. Many wonder how Apple will improve on an already solid product, while the tabletís followers scour the Web for news on any new features it will bring. Of course, this is the Web, so no matter what the topic, youíll find no shortage of rumors. Some may be true, and some may simply be hopeful. Regardless, here are some rumors that have made the rounds concerning the iPad 3 that you can digest until the real thing finally hits shelves.
Release dates are always an iffy area, and Apple seems to like to keep its releases under wraps to build even more excitement. Before you can ship a product it obviously has to be built, and that process reportedly began during late last year. Digitimes noted that iPad 3 panels were being shipped by manufacturers by the millions in October and November 2011. They also reported that the iPad 3 should see production numbers nearing the mark of 10 million units during the first quarter of 2012. Actual manufacturing of the iPad 3 by Foxconn, the companyís manufacturing partner, is said to have kicked off in January.
So, with all that being said, when will it actually ship? March 7 appears to be the date of choice, so if that is true, the long wait will be over with soon. On a side note, some believe that the iPad 3ís launch will coincide with an announcement on the latest and greatest mobile OS from Apple, iOS 5.1.
It may seem logical that the next iPad carry the moniker of iPad 3, but will that become reality? One Chinese manufacturer of iPad cases has begun selling iPad 2S cases, so one has to wonder if the current term of iPad 3 is a misnomer. The iPad 2S label is possible, however, especially if you look at the iPhone and its 4S version.
Displays are often a hot topic with tablet releases, and with good reason. After all, theyíre not only the window into the deviceís functionality, but they are also the dominant feature in terms of design. Many thought the iPad 2 would come with a fresh and highly impressive Retina display, but that never happened. Will the iPad 3 get one? You can bet that many hope it will.
So far, rumors are pointing to a Retina display for the iPad 3. The Wall Street Journal noted that Apple has turned to Sharp to manufacture new panels for the iPad and that the company might integrate dual LED lightbar technology into the tablet to address a brightness issue. Additionally, news in December spread concerning a 2048 x 1536 Retina display and lightbar produced by Sharp.
A display offering higher resolution in the iPad 3 could lead to a bit of a thicker form factor. While not ideal, the tradeoff would be worth it. Moving on, itís possible that the iPad 3 could feature a carbon fiber case, as Apple has hired Kevin Kenney, an expert on the material, as a consultant.
In terms of connectivity options, a SD card slot like the one predicted for the iPad 2 might come around this time. Some websites have also posted parts previews that show a smaller 30 pin dock connector.
The first two versions of the iPad offered solid performance, so it is to be expected that the next version will be even better. If the rumors of the iPad 3 coming equipped with a quad-core processor are true, performance gains should be noticeable. The processor of choice could very well be the Apple A6. According to a report from the Korea Times during November of last year, Samsung is set to be the processorís manufacturer.
Rumors are continuing to spread concerning LTE support for the iPad 3. Just recently, the Wall Street Journal identified Verizon and AT&T as sellers of iPad versions that will run on their latest wireless network technologies. Cnet.com added that the iPad could include a Qualcomm 4G LTE Gobi 4000 chip. TUAW detected references to an iPad 3.1 and 3.2 in some new code files for USB devices in iOS 5 firmware. Itís possible that the 3.2 is a reference to the iPad 3ís LTE version.
The iPad 2ís versions offering 16, 32, and 64GB probably suffice for most, but what about a version boasting 128GB of storage? Surely some users could fill up the extra space in a hurry, so weíll have to wait and see if Apple has anything up its sleeves in this realm.
An online posting showcasing a supposed iPad 3 casing revealed the possibility of a larger battery. Some believe the casing points to accommodations for improved graphics power as well.
Will the iPad 3 boast a better camera, similar to the one found in the iPhone 4S? If it does, it would certainly help boost the tabletís appeal.
These rumors are just a sampling of what is out there. They can be interesting and frustrating at the same time, but the good news is that the release date is not too far away, so all the speculation will be put to rest before you know it.
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