The recently released untethered jailbreak for Apple devices powered by the A4 processor and running the iOS 5.0.1 software has generated a lot of buzz. It is now the turn of the eagerly anticipated next-gen iPad 3.

The grapevine suggests the elite Apple product is widely expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2012. We are quite familiar with Apple's before-launch strategies... rarely are even the smallest details disclosed before time. The same situation seems to exist with the iPad 3's launch; Apple has not made any official announcements and the only news is from anonymous rumors, some of which are substantiated with insiders' perspectives and some others based on expectations.

The truth is that very little is known about the iPad 3... except for the fact there will be an iPad 3. The insiders hint at a February or March release, or at the least, an official announcement of its arrival.

Top 10 iPad 3 Features: What we Need to Know and Some Rational Guesses

1. Date of Release

Apple products are usually subject to a lot of hype. The rumors surrounding the iPad 3 suggest its launch in February and these are built on the fact that the late Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder, was born on Feb. 24. Contradictory reports, supposedly from the company, claim however that the next-gen tablet will be unveiled in March or April. A third report suggests there were significant blockages at some factories supplying iPad 3 parts, so a delay in launch can be expected.

2. The Cost

The most important thing we need to know is how much we need to save to own this beautiful gadget. The iPad 2 is now priced at $499, meaning it is logical to assume the iPad 3 will be priced at roughly the same level. This, in turn, some reports suggest, could mean Apple will reduce the price of the iPad 2, when its successor does come around, to as low as $299.

3. What it Will Look Like

It is reasonable to assume the iPad 3 will look remarkably sexy, although (and perhaps contradictorily) the device is expected to be fundamentally similar to its predecessor.

A Tech Labs report suggests the iPad 3 will feature a new, thinner and sleeker design, down nearly 20 percent in size, compared to the iPad 2. The report also claims the iPad 3 will support a full touch-screen HD display, with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536.

4. Processor

In addition to having an improved storage capacity and more RAM, the iPad 3 is expected to come with a better CPU and GPU, according to a Zdnet analyst.

Meanwhile, according to Tech Labs, the iPad 3 is also expected to have wireless charging technology, allowing for easier data transfer and charging of batteries. The device will have a lighter and more efficient battery. In fact, Digitimes cited a source who claimed the battery capacity would be as high as 14,000 milliampere-hour (mAh).

Finally, while the iPad 2 features a 900MHz dual-core ARM Cortext-A9 processor, Apple A5 chipset and PowerVr SGX543MP2 GPU, it is argued the iPad 3 will come with significant improvements in this section and could even sport the A6 Quad-core processor. This could reduce both the die cost and power.

5. Siri

Unconfirmed speculations suggest the iPad 3 could come with an advanced version of Siri - the voice-assisted artificial intelligence that debuted with the recently released iPhone 4S. The device is reportedly likely to have both iClouds and iTunes.

6. The 3D Feature and Retina Display

Analysts predict the iPad 3 will have the Retina Display feature, meaning texts and graphics will look smooth and continuous at any size, according to Apple. The feature will enable a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. Meanwhile, other rumors suggest the tablet will display 3D views... a report not supported by some experts.

7. The Two iPad 3s

There are rumors of two versions of the iPad 3 - HD and Standard. According to an analyst, one model will come with better cameras, a display with higher resolution capabilities, the A5 processor and Siri and be launched in March. The second should hit the markets later in the year, sporting a faster processor, as well as 4G LTE technology.

There are, however, reports which contradict the above claims.

8. About Near Field Communication (NFC)

Well... to cut to the chase... most analysts doubt it will have this feature.

9. About 4G/LTE

According to Tech Lab analyst Joel Fernandes, the iPad 3 will offer neither 4G nor Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies; both consume large amounts of battery charge.

10. Other Major Upgrades

iOS 5: The iPad 3 will run on the company's latest operating system - iOS 5 - unless, as some analysts predict, Apple decides to use it to launch the OS X Lion. Meanwhile, additional features like Facial Recognition, Multi-Tasking and the ability to switch between apps are also expected.

Cloud Computing: This feature, most agree, is almost certainly going to be a part of the iPad 3.

Camera: An improved camera is one of the more anticipated elements of the next-gen iPad and should definitely have LED flash and offer a minimum of 5 megapixels, as well as a good video recording option.

Fingerprint Proof: According to Tech Labs, the tablet might have a screen made of oleophobic materials, meaning it will reduce the chances of scratches and fingerprint marks on its surface.

Here is all we know... at the moment!

To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail: a.mathur@ibtimes.com