Apple iPad is the singular most popular tablet in the world, leaving rival Android, Blackberry and Windows tablets to grab only small chunks of the tablet market share. The tech giant controls over 75% of the tablet market share. However, Samsung, with its Galaxy tablet lineup, is now posing a big threat to Apple. Even Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which is priced at $199 or $300 less than the basic iPad model, is selling like hot cakes and stopping first-time tablet buyers from purchasing the iPad.

Hence, to remain in contention (and to retain its top spot), Apple must include some essential features in its new, yet-to-be-unveiled tablet. Here’s a quick look at the 8 killer features that would help iPad 3 put Android rivals out of business, or at least help the iPad stay ahead in the race.

Retina Display

Apple is at an advantage with its Retina Display being featured in iPad 3. With a screen resolution of 2048x1536 pixels, iPad 3 will offer users improved viewing experience. The Retina Display will make enhance on-screen clarity and will allow iPad 3 to render 3D images well. Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/03/ipads-using-ios-6-high-res-displays-showing-up-in-ars-server-logs.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss) reported on Friday that iPad 3 could come with Retina Display. If it does, iPad 3 will blow away its competition because there is no Android tablet that currently offers greater pixel density.

Quad-core Processor

Nvidia Tegra 3 chipsets have found its way inside many Android tablets at MWC 2012. This chipset is specially designed to home quad –core processors. To crush Android tablets, iPad needs a quad-core processor. Hence, it is almost certain that iPad 3 will feature a quad-core A6 processor. The new processor will help put the new iPad at a level playing field with Android rivals, if not help it surge ahead of the pack in the tablet race.

Siri

People simply love the touch-free fun of Siri, which has changed the way users interact with their iPhones. After iPhone, Siri is officially coming to iPad. Droid guys have IRIS (reverse of Siri), but it is not as cool as Siri.

iOS 5.1 or 6 With Refreshed UI

Running the same old UI on a double resolution screen just does not sound good. Apple iPad running iOS 6 has been spotted online. But, it is unlikely to be released on March 7. iOS 6 may not be ready just yet, though it may be out on pilot run. However, iPad 3 is expected to run on iOS 5.1 with refreshed UI and graphic tweaks.

4G Compatibility

To satisfy users’ hunger for high Internet speeds, the upcoming iPad must be LTE enabled. The debuting tablet is expected to support 4G network, thanks to the newly released Qualcomm’s Gobi v5 chips.

Better Camera

The camera department is where Android tablets have a big advantage over the iPad. A decent camera means a lot in tablets. However, iPad 2 features a mediocre camera system – a 0.7 megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p video capture capabilities, and a secondary front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime.

Apple must boost the iPad’s camera unit with some serious upgrades. iPad 3 must have a 5- or 8-megapixel camera with full HD 1080p video recording capability. It must also sport a secondary camera that can let users enjoy HD FaceTime.

Bigger, Better Battery

The iPad’s battery is one of the best among tablets, but if iPad 3 debuts with a faster processor and is 4G enabled, the new tablet will most certainly boast of a better battery life. DigiTimes reported that Apple is bumping up the battery to as high as 14,000 mAH (or more than double the present battery) and that Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology had both secured orders for batteries.

Though bumping up the battery so much may not be on the cards, Apple is certain to release iPad 3 with an improved battery that will help the tablet stay away from chargers for several days. However, adding more juice to the battery could require more space. So iPad 3 could be a tad thicker than its predecessors.

More Storage

We have already come across 64GB iPhone 4S and 64GB iPad 2. The next-gen iPad ought to feature 128GB of internal storage if Apple wants to ensure that the new iPad stays ahead in the tablet race.

On the other hand, Apple could include an SD card slot for expandable memory options. That would be sweet because it would put the new iPad on the same playing field as its Android rivals, many of whom support microSD cards for expandable storage option.

(Reported by Johnny Wills, Edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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