Round-up of Apple iPad 3 Rumors: Release Date, Features, and More

Ipad 3 mockup
iPad 3 mockup (credit: Guilherme Schasiepen)

Apple iPad 2 has been released for a year. It’s time we are expecting Apple to release the next version of its tablet – iPad 3. In this article, I sum up the possible iPad 3 features according to various rumor sources.

Please note that “iPad 3” is not an official name. Apple might call it “iPad 2S” or “iPad 2 HD”… Anyhow, I’ll refer iPad 3 as next iPad in this article.

Table of Contents

1. iPad 3 Release Date

iPad 2 was revealed in March 2011. We are expecting the same for iPad 3 this year. iMore has “confirmed” the date is March 7, 2012.

Update (Feb 29): It’s official. iPad 3 media event on March 7.

2. Retina display

iPhone 4 users already enjoy the high resolution Retina display. It would not surprise that Apple brings Retina display to iPad, too.

Current iPad 1 and iPad 2 have same resolution of 1024×768 pixels. A retina display would be double of the pixels and give you super-high-resolution 2048×1536. The below is the resolution comparison chart among iPhone/3GS/3GS, iPhone 4/4S, iPad, and Blu-ray full HD 1080p movie.

Ipad 3 vs other resolutions
(credit: osxdaily).

With that resolution, even your Apple Thunderbolt 27-inch 2560×1440 display can’t display full-size iPad 3 screenshot without scrolling!

UPDATED (Feb 22): Macrumors has confirmed that iPad 3 to have double resolution of iPad 2.

3. Quad-core A6 Processor

With higher resolution, iPad 3 will need a more powerful processor. Currently, iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are using A5 dual-core processor. Sources say that A6 quad-core processor footprint has been found in iOS 5.1 beta code. Even Apple don’t use A6 in iPad 3, it should have a higher clock speed too.

4. iPad 3 with 4G LTE

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Verizon and AT&T will sell iPad 3 that runs on 4G networks.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. will sell a version of the coming iPad that runs on their newest fourth-generation wireless networks, according to people familiar with the matter, as the battle to cash in on big investments in mobile broadband heats up.

LTE technology is still new; even in U.S will need to wait till end of 2013 to have 80% coverage. LTE will not available in Malaysia before 2013.

Another problem with LTE is that it’s a battery hog. Apple has to figure a way to maintain the iPad 10-hour battery life.

5. Better camera for iPad 3

Current iPad 2 has a back camera with 1280×720 pixel (0.9 MP) resolution and low resolution 0.3 MP front camera (640×480).

According to iLounge’s source, iPad 3 wil get both camera upgrades. The front camera get HD resolution (good for FaceTime HD video calls) and back camera, similar to iPhone 4S (8MP).

Frankly, iPad 2 cameras suck (though many people use it as primary camera…). Everyone will curse Apple if iPad 3 do not get better cameras. hehe.

6. Smaller iPad 3

WSJ reported that Apple Inc. is working woth component suppliers in Asia to test a tablet with smaller screen.

While other manufactures comes out tablets in different screen sizes, Apple still stick with 9.7-inch screen. The late Steve Jobs said that 9.7-inch form was “the minimum size required to create greate tablet apps.”.

I would not surprise if Apple release a new edition of iPad mini (less features & cheaper) with smaller display in the future, but not in 2012. Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire(USD$199, Amazon) is selling well, by the way.

Brian Blair, an analyst from Wedge Partners, asked investors don’t expect a 7-incher.

“While we believe Apple has tested 7-inch screen prototypes for over a year, we don’t currently expect the company to release anything in the 7-inch size in 2012.” (via AllThingsD)

7. Siri for iPad

Siri, the voice activated personal assistant, is exclusive for iPhone 4S which requires special hardware; that’s why you don’t get it for iPhone 4.

Siri is in active development to support more languages this year. Also, rumor says future Apple iTV will support remote voice control (read: Siri). It would be a surprise if Apple decides Siri to be iPhone only feature.

By the way, Siri requires Internet connection. You will probably need a iPad 3 LTE/4G version to use Siri when you are on the road.

Bad news: No Adobe Flash. Never!

If you are still hoping iPad to support Adobe Flash animation, please give up. Apple will never support Adobe Flash on iDevices.

In fact, Adobe officially announced that they ends the mobile Flash player’s development.

We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.

It’s time to move on.

What’s your most-wanted iPad 3 features?

You have seen the iPad 3 rumor features. What are your most-wanted iPad 3 features? Tell us in the comment below.

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