Perennial Apple rival Samsung is reportedly working on a new tablet that could make the iPad 3 look like a Palm Pilot. Trusted sources say the company is building an 11.6-inch tablet with a high-resolution 2560 x 1600 pixel display, which is a far higher resolution than the iPad 3's rumored 2048 x 1536 pixel display. In comparison, the Retina Display of the iPhone 4 and 4S is only 960 x 640 pixels.
The trusted source also believes the tablet will come preloaded with Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich, and it will run on a dual-core Exynos 5250 processor, which can run at 2 GHz. Apple's iPad 3 will reportedly feature a new A6 processor, which is very similar to Samsung's Cortex A15 CPU.
The report adds the Samsung tablet will come with Android Beam, which is currently only available on the Galaxy Nexus phone, as well as a wireless docking mode to allow gaming on HDTVs. If the reports are true, the Samsung tablet could compete with Apple's upcoming system, which could allow users to play games on their Apple TV by using their iPads as the game controllers.
Samsung's tablet will reportedly be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in February, which would make sense for the company, given that Apple's iPad 3 is rumored to be released in the same month. Samsung will try to capitalize on the Apple hype and steal some of the limelight, especially if it can claim that its tablet's display beats Apple's.
Apple is reportedly dissatisfied with the single LED backlight bar designed for the iPad 2's 1024 x 768 resolution display, and hope to alter this feature in the iPad 3. Of all of the ideas pitched, Apple is reportedly leaning towards an option which involves dual-LED light bars inside the iPad 3, one on the left and one on the right. Apple's supply chain says the company is very interested in this option, now that the manufacturers of LED back-light units have reportedly solved several puzzles involving heat dissipation and battery consumption. These LED issues had reportedly affected the launch schedule of the iPad 3.
Apple has been receiving tablet components at its overseas facilities since the end of October, and Apple still reportedly plans on pre-constructing about two million new iPad 3's by the end of December.
The overall design of the iPad 3 is still widely unknown. As of last week, sources from within Apple's supply chain say the company had yet to sign off on a final design, but Apple has reportedly developed two next-generation designs, codenamed J1 and J2, which each feature slightly different specifications, sizes and technologies. One report has called the J2 model a more ambitious upgrade from the iPad 2 compared to the J1, but Apple is likely to make the final decision on which design to mass produce by early next year.
Code for the iPad 3 was discovered in November when Apple released its iOS 5.1 beta update, which revealed references to a next generation iPhone and two next-gen iPads, internally named iPhone 5,1, iPad 2,4 and iPad 3,3, respectively. Analysts believe the iPad listed as iPad 2,4 is not a new iPad, but rather an upgraded iPad 2 with WiMAX functionality, possibly powered by Sprint. The iPad 3,3 is likely a completely new device.