Apple iPad 3 Release Date: Will Company Unveil Model during Macworld/iWorld Expo in January?

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The moment the tech world has been waiting for may only be weeks away. Apple's iPad 3 will supposedly be revealed during the Macworld/iWorld Expo in January.

According to Digitimes, Apple will unveil two versions of the iPad 3 at the expo, which takes place Jan. 26-28, 2012 in San Francisco. Digitimes cites sources at Apple's supply chain partners. The new models will join the iPad 2 to compete in the entry-level, mid-range and high-end market segments, sources added. It will compete directly with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

However, LoopInsight's Jim Dalrymple discredits this rumor. These rumors are completely false. I checked with a number of my sources today and an iPad 3 is not planned for release at Macworld. In case you're wondering, an iPad 3 won't be released at CES either, he wrote. He also denied any possibility of an Apple TV release at the expo.

Either way, rumors of iPad 3 features have become more and more detailed.

Both new models will reportedly have 9.7-inch QXGA screens and LED light bars, but one will come with a 5MP camera lens and the other with a larger 8MP lens, according to tech blog Tom's Guide.  

Tom's Guide also suggests that the reference to Amazon's Kindle Fire might mean Apple will introduce a cheaper, 8GB version of the iPad to compete with the $199 Kindle Fire.

Sharp is apparently going to be the major panel supplier for Apple's iPad 3. Samsung Electronics and LG Display will also be responsible for a portion of the orders, the Digitimes source said. Minebea, from which Sharp sources backlight units (BLUs), has also entered the supply chain for the new iPads, the sources pointed out.

The source also revealed that quad-core A6 processors by Samsung will be used in the next-generation iPads. The iPad 2 is based on a dual-core A5. Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology have both secured orders for batteries with a life of 14,000 milliampere-hour (mAh) for the iPad 3, according to the sources.

Other detail rumors include face recognition technology, according to MacRumors. The Web site displayed a patent illustration detailing the possible new feature. Back when the first iPad was released, The Wall Street Journal  reported on a similar feature: One person familiar with the matter said Apple has put significant resources into designing and programming the device so that it is intuitive to share. This person said Apple has experimented with the ability to leave virtual sticky notes on the device and for the gadget to automatically recognize individuals via a built-in camera. It is unclear whether these features will be included at launch.

Apple unveiled the iPad 2 on March 2, 2011 and the device hit stores on March 11. The original iPad was unveiled in January of 2011 and not sold until April. 

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