Thanks to the difference in time zones, Apple customers in Australia had the chance to snatch up the new iPad more than a day before the next-generation tablet went on sale in the United States. It also gave repair Website iFixit the chance to tear apart an iPad purchased from a store in Melbourne.
The firm found no surprises in that slim aluminum frame. However, in a series of images posted on its Website, iFixit did manage to document the A5X processor, Retina Display and other features that Apple hopes will outpace any competition for at least another year.
The new iPad (Apple hasnt given it an official-sounding name along the lines of iPad HD or iPad 3) features a high-resolution Retina Display, an improved camera and processor, and comparable battery life to its predecessors. In a bid to further pressure that competition, the new iPad will keep the same prices as the previous model, starting at $499 for WiFi-only versions, and $629 for those with 4G capability. Prices top out at $699 for the WiFi-only, 64GB model and $829 for the 64GB model with WiFi and 4G. Those in the U.S. will have the option of purchasing the new iPad with 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity on either Verizon or AT&T.
After using heavy-duty suction cups to remove the front glass, iFixit lifted away the LCD display, which they believed was made by Samsung. The display connectors for the new iPad are apparently different from those used in the iPad 2, meaning the respective tablets displays are incompatible.
After removing the display, iFixit found a logic board with a Texas Instruments CD3240 driver device, Epcos B4064 SAW (surface acoustic wave) filters, and a Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n MAC/Baseband/Radio with Integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and FM transceiver. They also uncovered Apples proprietary A5X processor, an upgrade from the previous A4.
Analysts have predicted the device will sell as many as 1 million units on March 16, its first day of release.
We expect Apple to sell more than [1 million] iPads on 3/16, the day the new iPad hits retail stores, Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, wrote in a March 12 research note. While the sell-through number is impossible to predict, given uncertain iPad supply levels, sales of over [1 million] iPads on launch day would be a slight positive relative to the Street consensus at 10.1 [million] iPads in the Mar-12 quarter.
Certainly, demand for the new iPad has translated into lengthening shipment times from Apples online store that now stand at two to three weeks.