iPad 3 Coming March 7: Report

Apple's iPad 3 will arrive March 7, according to an ever-popular unnamed source talking to iMore.

Apple€™s iPad 3 could make its debut March 7.

At least, that€™s the prediction of iMore, which cited the ever-popular unnamed sources €œwho have been reliable in the past.€

Whether or not that source proves accurate, the information dovetails neatly with a prediction from AllThingsD (which also cited an unnamed source) that Apple€™s next iPad will make its debut at the beginning of March. €œNo word yet on a street date for the iPad 3 (assuming that€™s what it€™s called),€ noted the Feb. 9 report.

The iMore report also suggested that the device would feature a 2048x1536 €œRetina Display€ along with a quad-core processor and €œpossibly 4G LTE networking.€

Rumors of similar features have circulated for some time. In a Feb. 1 posting, the Boy Genius Report also suggested the iPad 3 will feature a faster, next-generation A6 processor. That information likewise came from an unnamed source, who provided the blog with screenshots of €œoutput from an iPad 3 using a development and debug tool called iBoot.€ Based on those screens, the iPad 3 will come in two versions: €œone with WiFi only and one with WiFi and embedded GSM/CDMA/LTE for all carriers.€

As a whole, the iPad franchise 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 €œiPad killer,€ only to find apathetic customers and a general lack of buzz.

€œOur 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. €œAlso 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.€

Apple€™s next big tablet challenge might come in late 2012, when it will face Windows 8 on Microsoft and its manufacturing partners. Whatever features are included with the iPad 3, they will need to prove capable of beating back that challenge, in addition to keeping Android at bay.

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