More Powerful Processor - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3iPad 3 needs a more powerful processor if it is to distinguish itself from its rivals. The current iPad - iPad 2 - is powered by Apple A5 dual-core 1GHz processor and we suspect iPad 3 will be powered by the next generation A6 processor.
 Retina Display - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3If WSJ's report is true, iPad 3 will come with retina display to create parity with iPhone 4. And we would love to see the high resolution display because everybody's raving about how crisp and clear the videos and images render on iPhone 4 screen compared to iPhone 3GS. According to DigiTimes, Chimei Innolux (CMI) has produced IPS (in-plane-switching) LCD panels for iPad 2, fell out of favor with Apple because of problems with transmittance and yield rates of the panels. Apple, DigiTimes said, is tapping Japan's Sharp to make the display panels for iPad 3, along with LG Display and Samsung Electronics. Apple, we hope, will increase the resolution of its iPad 3 display to 2048x1536 compared to 1024x768 on the iPad 2. Let's not forget Apple did amp up the graphics chip on iPad 2, but as high definition video and gaming become more and more ubiquitous, increased resolution will likely become all the more in demand.
 Thinner and Lighter - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3According to market watchers, Apple is worried about the success of Samsung Galaxy Tab worldwide. Galaxy Tab, whose price is comparable to the iPad, is thinner (only 8.6mm thick) and lighter (only 1.25 pounds) than the Apple tablet which is 8.8mm thick and weighs 1.33 pounds. Though the difference in thinness and weight are merely technical and barely visible, Apple could imitate Samsung by replacing the aluminum body of iPad 2 with a plastic/glass body to make iPad 3 lighter and thinner.
 Better Cameras - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3Samsung Galaxy Tab comes with a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. In comparison, iPad 2 has 1-megapixel rear-facing camera and a front-facing VGA camera. How about upgrading them to rival iPhone 4's cameras or even better? It sure would be nice if iPad 3 came with 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash. Throw in 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, 1080p HD video capture and playback capabilities and iPad 3 will be hard to beat.
 Flash - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3One of the major gripes of iPad owners is that iPad doesn't support Adobe Flash. Apple said it's because of security and stability reasons but absent a workaround it means that a lot of Web video is inaccessible, as are many interactive web sites such as Google Finance. Unlike iPad, Android-based tablets include flash support. Apple has asserted that that Flash won't be the standard for video in the near future and many sites will start moving over to H.264. Apple may be right but for now, if you want to use Flash, Android is the answer. So Apple better start giving it a serious thought of making iPad 3 Adobe Flash-support.
 Wireless Charging - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3iPad is the best tablet out there and it can leave its competition further behind if Apple makes it possible for the iPad to charge wirelessly. Just as HP has built wireless charging into its TouchPad (all that TouchPad owners need to do is place their tablets into the HP charging dock), Apple should integrate wireless charging into the iPad so that it would charge right up without the need to plug any cables into the device itself.
 RAM - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3Though Apple has not officially disclosed how much RAM is in iPad 2, an iFixit teardown reveals that iPad 2 comes with 512MB RAM just like iPhone 4. On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as well as Motorola Xoom have 1GB RAM each. And as more RAM means better performance, iPad 3 better come with at least 1GB RAM if it has to be at the top of things. Moreover, if iPad 3 does come with retina display i.e. twice as many pixels onscreen, then it needs twice the RAM the iPad 2 has to feel snappy.
 Thunderbolt Port - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3Apple recently launched MacBook Air with Thunderbolt port that makes data flow and connectivity lightning fast. It's only a matter of time that Thunderbolt port is added to iPad too. If Thunderbolt is adopted beyond Macs — which, admittedly, is not guaranteed — sync times would become impressively quick, possibly enabling other types of connectivity.
 Improved Battery Life - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3iPad 2's battery offers up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music and up to 9 hours of surfing the web using 3G data network. Samsung, on the other hand, claims its Galaxy Tab 10.1 lasts up to 15 hours on battery. If Apple's bumping up the CPU and display resolution, perhaps it's time for Apple to improve battery life on iPad 3 as well.
 iOS 5 - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3It is almost expected that iPad 3 will feature Apple's new mobile operating system - iOS 5. iOS 5, which was unveiled during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, boasts of true multitask capabilities and comes with loads of new features such as News Stand, Reminders, Delta Updates and iMessage, Apple's very own messenger service.
Conclusion - Apple iPad 3 With Retina Display to Ship in Early 2012: Top 10 Features we Want to See in iPad 3There are of course many other features we hope iPad 3 can boast of. For instance, it would be good if iPad 3 can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot like Galaxy Tab 10.1. We also wish iPad came with glare-proof or anti-glare screen (a less reflective display); haptic or tactile feedback for improved gaming experience; and an added layer of biometric security system for the careless or forgetful. How about 4G LTE support? A separate SIM card slot for overseas roaming? And what about better speakers so that listening to music on the iPad isn't a pain to the ears anymore? NFC capabilities for mobile payments? An SD card slot for expandable storage? USB port? 3D video capture? A proper HDMI port (so that we can hook up our iPad to our HD TV without the need for anything besides an HDMI cable)? Maybe we should just keep on dreaming and not wake up. What do you think? What are the top 10 features iPad 3 should have? Leave your comments below.
Apple is rumored to be kicking off the trial production of iPad 3, the next-generation model of its best-selling tablet iPad, in October, and gearing up for a full-fledged launch in early 2012. But what features will it have?
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is reportedly planning to fit the iPad 3 with a retina display that will double the screen resolution from 1024x768 to 2048x1536.
This isn't altogether surprising, since the latest generation iPhone 4 comes with retina display.
Moreover, the rumor that the iPad 3 will be released in early 2012 falls in line with an earlier report from DigiTimes that the iPad 3's release has been delayed from Fall 2011 to the first quarter of 2012 because Apple's retina display suppliers are finding it difficult in reaching the target numbers.
Furthermore, a release in early 2012 would coincide with the launch schedules of the previous two iPads. The original iPad was launched on April 3, 2010, with its successor arriving less than a year later on March 2, 2011.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the latest iPad 3 rumor. Citing unnamed sources, the venerable newspaper said the iPad 3 will be hitting stores early in 2012 and testing of the device will commence this year in October.
An Apple component supplier told WSJ that Apple has already placed orders for parts of 1.5 million iPad 3s in the fourth quarter.
Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012, a person at the supplier told the Journal.
The rumors on iPad 3 making rounds about the Web say the tablet will be thinner, lighter and faster than existing models and will be equipped with a better screen.
Apple's iPad is a huge success. As of early August, an estimated 29 million iPads have been sold since the tablet went on sale in April 2010, which will help the tablet own 61 percent of the market by the end of the year. The technology giant also said it sold 9.25 million units of the tablet in the fiscal third quarter or nearly a triple of what it sold a year earlier.
However, Apple is feeling the heat from rival tablets such as Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The latter, which is slightly thinner and lighter, particularly is threatening to end iPad's dream run. Though similarly priced, the Galaxy Tab is equipped with more user-freindly front-facing and rear-facing cameras and a bigger screen.
While ZTE Corp, Toshiba Corp, Lenovo, Sony and ASUS have launched tablets with specs similar to iPad, online retail giant Amazon is also expected to launch a new Kindle-type tablet that will threaten the iPad.
Amidst this growing competition, iPad needs to distinguish itself from the pack if it is to retain its control over the market.
Of course, Apple has one less competitor to worry about now that HP has dropped out of the tablet race -- but it can't afford to wait for its rivals to catch up, or worse, surpass it with features and performance.
While it's not known for sure what features the iPad 3 will have, here are the top 10 features that we think would make the Apple's next generation 9.7-inch tablet a world-beater. Start the slideshow to find out.