As with the arrival of any new Apple device, the rumour mill has been running overtime for some months around the launch of the iPad 3 (or iPad HD as it is now expected to be called). From the inclusion of Siri and possible gesture control, to full 4G connectivity and 3D capabilities, the reports have been coming thick and fast with varying degrees of credibility.
We have decided to gather together all the speculation in order to attempt to build a solid picture of what to expect at the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts on 7 March.
By far the most consistent rumour surrounding the potential new Apple tablet is the expectation of a Retina Display, with numerous sources ‘confirming’ its inclusion in the iPad 3/HD. Reports seem to agree on a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution (twice that of the iPad 2) making it one of the highest resolution devices on the planet (only a small number of standalone monitors for use in the medical world operate at the same pixel rate) and certainly a world first in domestic technology.
With numerous sources now stating the device will be known as the iPad HD, it seems safe to assume that the new tablet will indeed feature full 1080p HD capabilities.
The eagerly anticipated A6 processor has been discussed at length for a number of months and as such, it seems almost inevitable that it will feature in the iPad 3/HD. Despite several ongoing legal battles, it is expected that the processor will be made by Samsung on behalf of Apple and is highly likely to be a quad-core chip, although some reports are stating a continuation of the dual-core A5. With quad-core tablets surfacing from ZTE, Huawei, ASUS and Toshiba, it seems reasonable that Apple will follow suit.
Either way, a processor with exceptional speed and increased power efficiency is expected in the new device.
Thicker Design / Bigger Battery
Apparently, due to the Retina Display and expectations of a larger capacity battery, many sources are speculating that the iPad 3/HD will be marginally thicker than the iPad 2, with images allegedly showing the thickness of the outer casing surfacing to support the claim. However, despite many reports stating a larger battery, a number of stories have suggested that the new Apple tablet will in fact have a thinner battery that will also be lighter than its predecessor.
Although there are some conflicting rumours here, it is widely anticipated that the iPad 3/HD will feature increased battery performance and efficiency over that of previous iPads.
Persistent rumours have suggested that LTE/4G support will be covered with the new iteration of the iPad with reports stating that the tablet may feature a Qualcomm 4G LTE Gobi 4000 chip.
Although not yet relevant to the UK, the US market is adopting LTE connectivity in a big way and therefore it would certainly be a savvy move from Apple to include the technology in the iPad.
Despite initial speculation suggesting that the iPad 3/HD would be more expensive than the iPad 2, recent conjecture points towards a price match in the two tablets, meaning a 16GB Wi-Fi model would retail for £399. The leaked price points suggest that Apple is taking into consideration the increased competition and keen pricing within the tablet sector.
Taking into account the pricing rumours, it would seem feasible to suggest that a price reduction for the iPad 2 will take place post-launch.
Further speculation regarding specifications has predictably varied from the seemingly accurate to the quite frankly ridiculous. Some of the more realistic proposed specs include NFC connectivity, the introduction of iOS 5.1, closer integration with Apple TV, an on-board 8 megapixel camera and the inclusion of Siri.
Obviously not all of the predictions discussed will prove to be correct, however, it goes without saying that the launch of the iPad 3/HD will undoubtedly change the face of both tablet computing and the wider world of mobile tech. All will be revealed from 6pm UK time tomorrow, so say tuned to the Dialaphone blog for all the news and reaction.