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Quad-core iPad 3 to be announced March 7?


February 16, 2012

If the rumors prove true, an LTE, quad-core, Retina display iPad 3 will be announced on Ma...

If the rumors prove true, an LTE, quad-core, Retina display iPad 3 will be announced on March 7 - but it's a big if

It's been a busy week on the iPad 3 rumor mill, and things have progressed considerably since our last iPad 3 update with the iMore blog citing "reliable sources" who suggest an official iPad 3 announcement is likely on March 7. Further, the same sources indicate that the next iteration of Apple's tablet could be powered by a quad-core processor and include - as we already suspected - a Retina display. There's some suggestion that the device could feature LTE connectivity - though this latter point seems shrouded in uncertainty. Time to take the cautious stick to the iPad 3 rumor cauldron ...

The LTE speculation seems to originate from the same iMore article on Monday that broke the March 7 announcement - but seems to be a point of speculation based on the iPhone 5 likely being an LTE handset. "We're still not certain if the iPad 3 will get it earlier," wrote iMore's Rene Ritchie. The same story is firmer upon the points of a 2048 x 1536 Retina display, a quad-core Apple A6 system-on-a-chip and a March 7 announcement - all of which I interpret iMore to have derived directly from its source. The announcement date agrees with a prior prediction from All Things D that an announcement would come the first week in March.

The Wall Street Journal followed this with a story that seemed to peg an LTE iPad 3 as a near-certainty, but cited vague-sounding sources such as "people familiar with the matter" and "one of those people." Of course iMore went on to use the Wall Street Journal story as the basis of a firmer story on an LTE iPad. One has to wonder if a comical game of Chinese whispers is being played out here, with flimsy LTE rumors getting firmer by the minute through the safety blanket of repetition and diminished responsibility. Apple may not comment on speculation, but it has fun watching, no doubt.

Following a separate thread, the Wall Street Journal also revealed that, according to anonymous sources inside Apple's supply chain, Apple is working on a smaller, approximately 8-inch iPad with a similar resolution to the current 9.7-inch iPad 2. Assuming all the rumors proved true, this would lead to a three-tier iPad market consisting of iPad 3, a discount iPad 2, and a new smaller iPad with similar-sounding specs - a rather muddy, confusing and unAppley-sounding state of affairs.

Back in January, iLounge's Jeremy Horowitz's source (simply referred to as "source") suggested iPad 3 would be a little thicker, with beefed up camera specs in line with the iPhone 4 or 4S. The article seems to be the origin of subsequent iPad 3 Retina display rumors, though Horowitz says "high-def screen." In the same piece, Horowitz suggests that Apple will continue to ship the iPad 2 at the reduced price of US$399.

We'll know nothing for certain until March 7 (if the date proves correct), and in the mean time, your guess is as good as anyone's. If I were a gambling man I'd say improved cameras are a near-certainty, an HD Retina-like display very likely, a quad-core processor highly possible, and a cut-price iPad 2 eminently sensible. An LTE iPad 3 and a smaller 8-inch iPad sound rather less likely, though they're by no means impossible. Time will tell.

Sources: iMore (Feb 13, 14), WSJ (Feb 14, 15), iLounge, All Things D

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway

Just add a SDXC slot, USB3.0, and a user replaceable battery.

16th February, 2012 @ 09:43 am PST

Would be very interested to know if they have included a usb port.

I would also like to know when Samsung will release Galaxy 11.6 and if it has a usb port.

Lawrie Barclay
16th February, 2012 @ 04:27 pm PST

I want a thunderbolt port on the ipad!

Esaú Quero-quero Cordero
17th February, 2012 @ 07:50 am PST

i want an iPad 2 refurb, for cheap, after they announce the iPad 3

Tom Phoghat Sobieski
17th February, 2012 @ 11:20 am PST

I hate rumour mills, just wait for the announcements, the specs will and then everyone will decide.

Dawar Saify
17th February, 2012 @ 12:01 pm PST

Sounds like the iPad 3 is going to cost in the range of $999.99. That will sure increase the stock price of Apple to over $600.00 a share.

Brock Scott
18th February, 2012 @ 07:24 am PST

"2048 x 1536 Retina display" if i was drinking a drink it would be all other my laptop now. that is an insane resolution, im still not that into to hole tablet thing but hopefully this will cause an increase in laptop and other device resolutions.

Jon Badger
19th February, 2012 @ 04:22 pm PST
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