Apple's iPad 3 will feature a new A6 processor, according to a Feb. 1 posting on the Boy Genius Report blog.
BGR's information came from an unnamed source, who in turn provided screenshots of "output from an iPad 3 using a development and debug tool called iBoot." Based on those screens, the iPad 3 will come in two versions: "one with WiFi only and one with WiFi and embedded GSM/CDMA/LTE for all carriers."
If Apple follows the release cadence of the two previous iPad versions, the iPad 3 could arrive early this year. Certainly, the tablet has proven a resounding success for Apple, having sold 15.43 million units in the last quarter alone.
That massive sales volume has apparently affected other products in Apple's hardware ecosystem.
"There is cannibalization clearly of the Mac by the iPad, but we continue to believe there is much more cannibalization of Windows PCs by the iPad," Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts and media listening to the call, "and there's many more of them to cannibalize. And so we love that trend."
Moreover, the iPad enters 2012 in a particularly strong market position. Throughout 2011, other tablets have plunged into the tablet arena with huge advertising budgets and the stated aim of becoming an "iPad killer," only to find apathetic customers and a general lack of buzz.
"Our checks indicate modest sales of most competing tablet offerings, including the Motorola Xyboard, RIM PlayBook, HTC View 4G, Samsung Galaxy tab and several other Android-based devices," T. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, wrote in a Jan. 24 research note. "Also consistent with our checks, the Amazon Kindle Fire did not adversely impact iPad sales, but more likely had a greater impact on e-reader sales."
Later in 2012, Apple will likely face a tablet challenge from Microsoft and its manufacturing partners, who could market a host of touch-screen devices loaded with the upcoming Windows 8. Whatever hits the market from Redmond, it will face an iPad 3 that, in addition to a more powerful processor, could also boast a higher-resolution display and other next-generation features.