With the success Apple is enjoying with the iPad 2, I’m not sure they even need to make an iPad 3.
They will, of course. Just as they’ve done over the past two years, Apple will likely unveil its latest, greatest tablet around April of 2012. Until then, it’s open season on iPad 3 rumors.
In this ongoing blog post, we’ll be collecting the best, most interesting rumors and predictions for the Apple iPad 3. Which of these rumors will pan out? Only time will tell.
Less expensive iPad Mini
The iPad’s fiercest competition comes from inexpensive 7-inch tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet. Steve Jobs famously called the iPad’s 7-inch competitors “dead on arrival,” but there’s good reason to believe that Apple won’t just ignore this growing threat. A 7-inch iPad with a $300 price tag could be just the thing to extinguish the Kindle Fire.
Everyone predicted that 3D was going to be huge in 2011. It wasn’t. 3D TVs were a bust, the Nintendo 3Ds had to slash its price to compete, and 3D movies became synonymous with garbage. Still, the 3D display technology rumored for the iPad 3 could succeed where others have failed. By leveraging head-tracking camera software and the existing gyroscope sensor, iPad apps and videos could be made to trick your senses into perceiving 3D, with no glasses required.
Two iPad 3 models
Could 2012 hold two iPads instead of just one? This rumor goes hand in hand with the rumor of the iPad Mini, then goes further to claim that it will live side by side with the original 10-inch model. The premise for the rumor stems from code within iOS 5, which is more than can be said of most of the rumors on this list.
iPad 3 to use A6 processor
The idea that Apple’s next-generation iPad would use a next-generation processor is to be expected. The more interesting tidbit from this rumor is that the chip may not be ready in time for the iPad’s expected spring debut, pushing the product back to fall.
iPad 3 to use thinner battery
This is another rather obvious prediction. In Apple’s view, mobile technology can never be too thin. The iPad’s current construction is devoted mostly to its battery, so a lighter, slimmer battery is crucial to further whittling down its design.
Siri on iPad
The Apple iPhone 4S was sold almost entirely on two features: a better camera and a new virtual assistant named Siri. Software hackers quickly found a way to enable the iPad’s version of the Siri assistant, buried in the code for iOS 5. Unfortunately, without the cooperation of Apple’s servers, Siri will not work on iOS devices that Apple has not yet deemed ready for the feature.
iPad 3 to use new dock connection type
With Apple pushing the benefits of the wireless “PC-Free” features of iOS 5, it seems only a matter of time before Apple’s universal dock connection disappears like some kind of vestigial tale carried over from its iPod ancestry. But before it disappears entirely, the folks at Macotakara believe there will be a new type of dock connection introduced that will break compatibility with all previous docking accessories.
iPad 3 QXGA display
Of all the iOS devices out there (including the iPhone and iPod Touch), the iPad is the last to receive the upgrade to Apple’s Retina Display technology. The problem is that touch-screen manufacturers simply cannot yet make panels at the iPad’s size with the same 326ppi pixel density. They can get close, though. QXGA resolution (2,048×1,536) gets you a pixel density of 264ppi, which is twice that of the iPad 2.
iPad 3 to use Qualcomm 4G LTE Gobi 4000 chip
Qualcomm is the current manufacturer for the 3G mobile chip inside the iPhone 4S, so it stands to reason that Apple may take advantage of their latest and greatest chip for use in the iPad 3. Using the 4G-compatible mobile chip would make the iPad 3 the first 4G device Apple has produced.
iPad 3 will be thinner with low-power non-IPS display
Forbes claims that Apple will ditch their IPS technology for a lower-powered Sharp display with a higher resolution and a thinner profile that will allow for a thinner overall design.