Apple has been tight-lipped as ever about the details of the iPad 3—which is widely expected to arrive in early March—leaving the pundits with nothing to do but guess.
The Apple iPad 3, by all
accounts but Apple's, will arrive in March, and there's no end to the
speculations about what the industry-changing device's latest incarnation will
So far, educated guesses
¢ The inclusion of much faster chip. AllThingsD
reported Feb. 9, citing unnamed sources, that the next
iPad would look much like the iPad 2 but
running a much faster chip,
sporting an improved graphics processing unit
and featuring a 2048x1536 Retina Displayor something close to it.
¢ Compatibility across all carrier networks.
The Boy Genius Report
, also citing secret sources, wrote Feb. 1 that
the iPad 3 will come in two versions, "one with WiFi only and one with
WiFi and embedded GSM/CDMA/LTE for all carriers."
¢ Be available in a 7-inch option.
Steve Jobs made clear his loathing
of the 7-inch form factor, once notoriously calling it "dead in the
water." Still, analyst Ezra Gottheil, with Technology Business Research
(TBR), told Computerworld
that he expects Apple to nonetheless offer a 7-inch version of the iPad 3, in
addition to a 9.7-inch version.
¢ Have a killer display.
Gottheil, in the same conversation, said he
also expects the next iPad to have a higher-resolution displayone it's likely
to call a "Retina display," whether that's quite accurate or not.
"That's important to them because it means the iPad will work well in
their home theater play, since it will display full HD," he said.
"And it's an important differentiator going forward."
¢ Maintain its price point.
iFixit's Kyle Wiens, who has torn down
many an Apple device, and predicted correctly in the past, spoke with PC
about what Apple likely has coming. Wiens said he also expects a
Retina display, or "four times the pixels" of the current display, a
very fast graphics processorthough a quad-core is probably a little farther
down the lineand for the next iPad to be competitive where consumers have
shown it really counts: at the register. "I think Apple needs to be more
aggressive on price than on features," he told PCWorld
. "This means maintaining the $500 price point."
¢ Include dictation software, possibly Siri. 9to5Mac
reports hearing months ago that Apple was "internally
prototyping a version of the full Siri experience for the iPad," though no
new news of late. However, a tipster for the site discovered that in the iOS
5.1 beta 3 settings application on the iPad, there's a section in the keyboard
menu that includes legal and feature information about "Siri
"Perhaps this will be
an iOS 5.1 launch feature for the iPad, or it may be an iPad 3-exclusive
feature. ... Were also hearing this link/document is also appearing on
retina iPod touches as well," wrote the site.
One thing about the iPad 3
is for certain, however. It will arrive with considerably raised consumer
awareness about the conditions under which it was created. On Feb. 9, Change.org
and SumOfUs.org hand delivered to at least six Apple stores petitions
signed by a total of more than 260,000 consumers, all calling for Apple to
improve working conditions in its partners' factories. In recent weeks, reports
from The New York Times
outlets have exposed the gritty reality of what goes into creating tens of
millions of iPadsand given Apple fans more to think about.
Mark Shields, an Apple user
and the author of the Change.org petition, reminded Apple, "Your own ads
say that 'the people who think they are crazy enough to think they can change
the world, are the ones who do.'"