The iPad celebrated its second birthday on Friday, adding to the hype and anticipation surrounding the release of the iPad 3.
Here are three realistic expectations for the new tablet:
Although wild and imaginative rumors have filled the tablet's radar, it seems the most realistic are predictions of its release date. As far as rumors go, there have been tentative release dates circulating on the Web since the launch of the iPad 2. But if we follow the trends of the past two years, the iPad 3 will be released around the same time as its predecessors, between March and April.
Last week sources from Apple's supply chain in China released a report indicating that the next generation of iPad was just weeks away from being unveiled, and it would be released in early March.
Another report from Pegatron Technology, one of Apple's major manufacturers, says most of the orders for the iPad 3 have been filled, and preparations have started for the iPad 4, which could be released as early as October.
While an October release for the iPad 4 seems premature, it hasn't been ruled out by tech analysts as the competition heats up against Apple, with the ASUS Transformer Prime HD expected this summer and a possible Google Android tablet later this year.
Apple needs to up its game. The ASUS tablets are so powerful they are starting to compete with lower-end laptops, said tech writer Conner Braham.
The iPad 2 was heavily criticized for its 1024x768 pixel screen that displayed unclear fuzzy images. The DigiTimes, which claims to have received information from Apple's supply chain, says the new display will boast an indium gallium zinc oxide display panel with a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels.
With its better display, the iPad 3 is expected to come with a better camera. The iPad 2 was criticized for its feeble 0.8MP camera. But the new iPad will have a long way to go if it's going to keep up with the ASUS Transformer Prime, which currently boasts an 8MP, 3264 x2448 pixel, auto-focus, LED flash camera. It also has 1080p video. The iPad 3 is rumored to come with higher quality video recording and an LED flash, according to Apple Community.