Apple's iPad 3: 10 Things We Don't Know Despite the Rumors

NEWS ANALYSIS: There are rumors everywhere about Apple and the upcoming iPad 3 tablet. But to believe that we know anything of any substance about the device is a falsehood.

It's January. And that means for the next several months, we'll be forced to wade through rumor after rumor about Apple's iPad 3. Even after the device launches-which, the rumor mill suggests, could happen in March-reports will surface over Apple's plans for future updates and even the device's successor. Simply put, there's no rest for the weary in the great land of Apple rumors.

Unfortunately, with all the rumors that surface, people fall into the trap of believing that some of them are true. And why not? Publications like DigiTimes make their so-called "sources" appear to be so trustworthy, and their suggestions seem so plausible, that not to believe them would be ludicrous, some folks think. Apple is definitely launching the iPad 3 this year, rumor lovers say, and it needs to offer some improvements, so why shouldn't at least some of the rumors be true?

It's a logical argument. But given the history of Apple rumors, there's a good chance, even with all the reports that have already cropped up, we're not even close to figuring out what the iPad 3 will come with. Apple is notoriously secretive. And it has a tendency to surprise even the most cynical industry observers.

Read on to find out what we still don't know about the iPad 3, despite what the rumors say.

1. Will it have Siri?

When Apple launched its virtual personal assistant application Siri with the iPhone 4S, immediately, folks started wondering if it would be coming to the iPad 3. Rumors suggest it will, and there's a solid chance that will be the case. But so far, Apple hasn't made that commitment. And until it does, don't bet too heavily on those rumors.

2. When will it launch?

Given Apple's history of iPad launches, it seems rather likely that the company will unveil its next-generation tablet in March or April. And most rumors seem to follow that logic. But with Tim Cook now calling the shots and the possibility of quad-core processors-which will likely come in the iPad 3-delaying production times a bit, that scheduling could be off.

3. What will it cost?

The iPad 3's price might just be the easiest rumor to predict. After all, Apple has historically delivered a new version of its smartphone or tablet each year, and the new devices are priced the same as their predecessors. It's a pricing move that has helped Apple in big ways in the past. And most rumors suggest it will happen again with the iPad 3. But until Apple actually unveils the new tablet, don't convince yourself of it.

4. Will it be a major upgrade?

Quite often, consumers want to know if an upcoming Apple device will be a major upgrade over its predecessor. And quite often, the rumors say it will be. But as the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S showed quite convincingly, major upgrades aren't always made available by Apple. The latest rumors say the iPad 3 will be a major step up over the iPad 2, but given Apple's comfortable lead in the tablet space, the company might not feel compelled to deliver such a device this year.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...