Adding more fuel to the rumor around Apple's third-generation iPad, latest reports highly suggest that the tablet will arrive in two different versions towards the end of March. The device is also very likely to sport a faster quad-core A6 processor, making it the fastest iOS device ever.
Boy Genius Report (BGR) came up with a fascinating post on Wednesday claiming that a source with an iPad 3 prototype provided it with images that contain more details about Apple's highly anticipated third-generation tablet - iPad 3 (or whatever Apple would prefer to name it).
From the data in the photos, which contain the output from an iPad 3 using a development and debug tool called iBoot, we can infer plenty of information about the upcoming iPad 3, said BGR.
As per the data in the images obtained by BGR, there were two model numbers - J1 and J2, referring to iPad3,1″ and iPad3,2. However, that doesn't mean two different models, but a single iPad available in two versions - one with Wi-Fi only and one with Wi-Fi and embedded GSM/CDMA/LTE for all carriers.
According to a CNET report, compatibility with 4G networks has been expected long before the iPad 2 last year. The next iPad model is an increasingly more attractive target for it with Qualcomm's recently announced Gobi 4000 chip, as well as a report from Bloomberg last month claiming the iPad 3 would be the first device from Apple to feature the faster speeds, the report stated.
The leaked images that BGR reported also showed that iPad 3 could incorporate a new processor called A6 (model number S5L8945X), which will be a powerful and extremely fast quad-core model. For reference, the Apple A4 model was S5L8930X and the A5 is S5L8940X, according to BGR.
Meanwhile, Amazon also contributed to the iPad 3 rumor mill by adding two iPad 3 help books to its European site - Ipad 3 pour les nuls, meaning iPad 3 for Dummies in French, and Auf die Schnelle iPad 3, which is German for iPad 3 in a Hurry or iPad 3 on the Fly, according to a report from GameZone.com.
According to the Amazon France listing at the time, iPad 3 for Dummies is scheduled for publication on March 29, 2012, which falls in line with previous rumors of a March release date for the iPad 3 rumored by Bloomberg and others, the report said.
Although there is no confirmation yet from Apple's side regarding the unveiling of the next-generation iPad, latest round of rumors about a March announcement does fall in line with the company's product launch cycle.
iPad 3 Top Rumored Features Roundup:
Rumors are rife about the features that the next-generation iPad could possibly bring along. Starting from a much improved processor to super-fast docking ports, a whole lot of rumored features had been associated with the upcoming tablet. While some of the features seem to be very unlikely, there are some that Apple can't afford to ignore to integrate in the iPad 3 to maintain its lead in the tablet war. Let's have a look:
Better Display - In a recent report, MacRumors claimed to have acquired a leaked photo of the iPad 3 suggesting that the device will come with the same 9.7-inch size display, with a high resolution screen of 2048x1536 which is four times the number of pixels of the current iPad 2.
A DigiTime report also talked about the same specifications, adding that the device will also have dual-LED light bars to strengthen the brightness of the panels. Rumors were also heard about Apple utilizing IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) flat panels instead of IPS (in-plane switching panels) in its next-generation mobile display products such as iPad 3.
Considering that the existing iPad 2 had to face criticism in the past for its 1024x768 screen resolution, offering the same somewhat blurry resolution as the original iPad, higher display resolution seems to be one of the key features to help continue iPad's winning run.
4G LTE Access - iPad 3 is highly expected to be compatible with long-term evolution (LTE), a wireless network that gives access to data more quickly. Bloomberg reported recently that Apple has been working on making the iPad compatible with LTE. Carriers such as Verizon Wireless (VZ) and ATT Inc. (T) are rolling out LTE networks to give users faster access to data, the report stated.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also said earlier that the first generation LTE chipsets will compel lots of design compromises with the company's devices.
Enhanced Battery - According to reports, Apple is bringing LTE to the next iPad even before the iPhone because the tablet has a bigger battery, capable of supporting the power requirements of the newer technology.
A recent DigiTimes report cited sources at Apple's supply chain partners that said the new iPad is expected to have enhanced battery life, with a capacity of as high as 14,000 milliampere-hour (mAh). The report even stated that Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology have both secured orders for batteries.
Rumors also suggest that in order to include the Retina Display panel and a better battery, Apple may have to add about 1mm of thickness to the next generation iPad. However, considering a better battery can serve as the USP for the upcoming device, the iPad-maker is likely to make that sacrifice.
Inclusion of an enhanced battery paves the way for more cool specs and features.
Superfast Processor - With the BGR report Wednesday, it's very likely that Apple will employ an upgrade to something like a quad-core A6 processor to make the next iPad faster and more efficient.
If Apple wants to bring higher screen resolution, LTE compatibility and lot more other key features to the iPad 3, the device will certainly need more power supply and speed, which can be offered by a faster quad-core A6 processor.
Moreover, Apple reportedly continues to contract Samsung to manufacture its quad-core A6 processors, which will be used in the next-generation iPads.
Better Camera - Unlike the iPhone, Apple hasn't played much with the camera feature on the iPad. While the original iPad featured a nondescript camera, iPad 2 came with a mediocre VGA camera.
Since iPad's rival products are continuously coming with more powerful and improved cameras, it's time for Apple to empower its tablet with a more enhanced camera, at least a 5 megapixel camera (superior to that would be even better) with dual-LED flash, capable of taking both stills and full-HD videos.
Siri - With its unique charm, Siri, the virtual voice-controlled assistant, has become a darling among iPhone 4S users. It's, therefore, very likely that Apple would love to leverage on Siri's popularity by adding it to iPad 3.
Yes, Siri does sometimes give wrong results. But Apple is reportedly working on improving Siri. Therefore, it won't be a surprise if a more intelligent Siri turns up as a star feature in iPad 3.
According to eWeek, if Apple continues with the release cadence of the two previous iPad versions, the iPad 3 could arrive early this year. Apple claimed that the tablet has proven a booming success for the company, since as much as 15.43 million units of the device were sold in the last quarter alone.
There is cannibalization clearly of the Mac by the iPad, but we continue to believe there is much more cannibalization of Windows PCs by the iPad, Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts and media, and there's many more of them to cannibalize. And so we love that trend.