Apple will host an iPad-related event March 7.
We have something you really have to see. And touch, reads the invitation sent to the media, which includes an image of a finger touching the calendar app (conveniently set to Wednesday the 7th) on an iPad screen.
For some weeks, the rumor mill has buzzed eagerly over reports that Apple would release the next iPad (dubbed iPad 3 by the media) sometime in the first week of March. Other rumors have focused on the next-generation tablets possible features, including a high-resolution screen (in a Feb. 9 article, AllThingsD pegged the resolution at 2,048 by 1,536), as well as a more powerful processor and camera.
Meanwhile, some tech retailers have begun to lower their iPad 2 prices, a traditional indicator that the release of a new version is indeed imminent. All of Best Buys models have taken a $50 haircut irrespective of memory capacity and options.
The iPad 3 itself could cost a premium over the current version, at least according to a pricing sheet that appeared on Chinese microblog Sina Weibo. The iPad 3 costs $80 more for the equivalent WiFi models, concludedMacRumors, which drilled down into the sheets particulars in a Feb. 27 posting, and $70 more for the equivalent 3G models.
Throughout 2011, other slates 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. This year could prove a little different on the competitive front, as Microsoft gears up to release Windows 8 on tablets and the various Google Android manufacturers adjust their strategies and product lines.
The iPad 3 might not be the only trick up Apples sleeve next week. The blog 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple will release an updated Apple TV alongside the new tablet. The new Apple TV is rumored to include a faster processor, possibly a variation of the dual-core A5 chip, added the Feb. 28 posting, which cited anonymous sources supposedly familiar with the matter. The dual-core A5 chip has been said to be required for the Apple TV to finally stream 1,080p quality video, but Apple is also working on an A5X chip that is dual-core, which also includes an improved graphics engine.