iPad Cook
Image Credit: AllThingsD

The official announcement of Apple’s next generation iPad, the iPad 3, looks to be just around the corner, in March according to numerous sources lately in the Tech community. Yesterday, AllThingsD’s John Packowski confirmed that Apple will be unleashing the next generation iPad in a few weeks in March.

For all you early adopters and developers, it looks like the ‘rumor train’ is finally coming to a stop and you should probably be gearing up to jump on the iPad 3 bandwagon soon – get your tents and snacks ready!

 

Retina Display will be the major feature to be noted with the upcoming iPad 3. The previous iterations, the original iPad and the iPad 2 sported a meager 1024 x 768 resolution whereas the iPad 3 is expected to come with a 2048 x 1536 resolution which would obviously make the display much clearer and crisper to say the least. The panels are likely to be manufactured across Samsung/LG/Sharp.

To put the 2048 x 1536 resolution into perspective, it would be like squeezing all the pixels in the 21- and 27-inch iMacs into a 9.7-inch display – yes, it’s understandable why the Apple employee said that the display is “truly amazing” to The New York Times.

iPad 3 Retina Display?Sharp Apple iPad 3 Retina Display

Thickness? Rumors regarding the design of the iPad 3 has been relatively uniform – it will look very similar to the iPad 2. Reports of thickness, however, has been varied according to sources. So far, we’ve heard no real noticeable difference to a 7 mm thicker body for the iPad 3…rest assured, one thing that could be concluded from these reports is that the thickness won’t be very noticeable once you grab an iPad 3.

iPad 3 Back Panel

Battery. Analysis of the leaked photos of the body shell frames of the iPad 3 showed an ample space to install a larger size battery, which would probably mean an increased time you could spend on the iPad, unplugged.

iPad 2 vs iPad 3 Rear shell

Chip. Another point of uncertainty. While we now know that the iPad 3 will likely come with a brand new A6 chip, code named “S5L8945X” by Samsung, details are unclear whether this chip would sport a dual-core or quad-core processor.

Apple A6 Chip

LTE capability. LTE capability is another area of uncertainty. Adding LTE would mean extra weight and cost, however most importantly it will take a huge bite out of the battery life. LTE network coverage in most countries are relatively slim at best and especially being that the iPad is a tablet with no phone capabilities, it doesn’t seem like it would be worthwhile for Apple to start implementing the power-hungry LTE chips at this point – perhaps more appropriate for the iPhone 5, but not for the iPad 3. 9to5Mac does point out, however, at the next generation low-power LTE chips have just begun to roll off from the assembly lines at Qualcomm, so I guess we’ll find out what Apple decided in the coming weeks.

LTE iPad Qualcomm?

Bluetooth 4.0 will most certainly come installed with the iPad 3. No reason not to, really.

Siri. Siri for the iPad 3 would certainly be welcome by the users. Granted that Apple would probably need to make improvements to its microphone and the servers that operate Siri, Siri and iPad 3 would make a great couple.

iPad 3 Microphone parts

Camera. iPad 2 failed in this department…badly. After being shocked at the horrible image quality, I’ve stopped using the iPad 2 camera altogether and resorted to my iPhone 4/4S to take my photos. The camera does its job for FaceTime, but fails for anything else. That said, the camera should (and MUST!) be upgraded. 9to5Mac suggests a camera in the 3-5 megapixels range, which is reasonable however still disappointing coming from the 8 megapixel camera on the iPhone 4S.

iPad 3 Shell Camera Hole

Speaker. Seeing how the iPad 3 will probably sport a similar design to the iPad 2, it doesn’t look like we’ll see much of a difference in terms of surround sound on the iPad 3. You could, however, still cup your hands around the speakers for better sound or better yet, back the SoundBender project on KickStarter for a Power-free Magnet Sound Enhancer…but then again, the product is for the iPad 2, so I’m not too sure how it would fit the iPad 3.

NFC. NFCs are supposedly marked as a ‘go‘ with the iPhone 5 and judging from its similarities to the iPad 3, I suppose it could be a possibility…but then again, an NFC on a tablet? Hmm..

Moneto NFC

128 GB option. Sure, why not. More space is always welcome. However I’d be interested to see the price range that Apple would be aiming by adding the 128 GB option to the iPad 3. It does seem logical that since the iPhone 4S now comes in 64GB, the iPad 3, being that it’s a tablet, could come with the 128GB; however seeing from the price range perspective, how much would the 128GB iPad 3 cost? Also with the rise of cloud storage and high speed internet, and streaming media, I’m not sure how reasonable it would be for Apple to bring this option to the table. 9to5Mac does point out, however, that the 1080p videos will take up a significant fraction of space (multiple Gigabytes each), so it may be a reasonable option.

via 9to5Mac

Image Credits: 9to5Mac (NFC), 9to5Mac (A6 Chip), 9to5Mac (Microphone), Cult of Mac (leaked photos), RepairLabs (back housing), 9to5Mac (LTE Chip)TouchReviews via Macrumors (iPad 3 display leak), Macotakara (Display panel)

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