Apple's next generation tablet iPad 3, the successor to Apple's iPad 2, is expected to be launched on March 7.
If rumors are to be believed, iPad 3 (or iPad 2S?) will pack such great features that will give the existing tablets like Amazon Kindle Fire and BlackBerry PlayBook run for their money.
iPad 3 is expected to sport Retina Display, A6 quad-core processor, 8 mega pixel camera, 4G LTE and a very powerful 14,000 mAH battery. All these features surely will give iPad 3 an edge over the existing tablets.
A leading deal aggregation Web site for electronic products, TechBargains.com released its iPad 3 survey results. The reports reveal that almost 48 percent of those surveyed will buy an iPad 3 once it is launched. 58 percent respondents said that they would upgrade their current tablet and 74 percent admitted that iPad is still the best tablet available in the market.
But the response that surprised most of the readers is that 53 percent of Kindle Fire user will buy iPad 3.
Although the anticipated high price tag (anything between $299 and $599) of Apple's next iPad is the main reason for 16 percent of the respondents to decide not to buy the iPad 3 while 35 percent remain undecided due to the same reason.
Whatever the price Apple decides, let's check out the features that the world is abuzz speculating and see where Kindle Fire and PlayBook stand when compared to their existing features -
Display: Both Kindle Fire and BlackBerry Playbook sport a 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixels and 170 ppi pixel density whereas it is rumored that the 9.7-inch iPad 3 will introduce a revolutionary Retina Display featuring double-resolution screen 2048×1536 pixels in dimension with modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology that will provide an improved pixel density of 330 ppi. It is a significant upgrade on iPad 2's display of 1024x768 pixels and a pixel density of 132 ppi.
This amazingly high quality display will give tough competition to Amazon and BlackBerry tablets.
Battery: According to rumors, iPad 3 will have a battery as high as 14,000 mAH to support the anticipated HD screen and a more powerful processor. Kindle Fire has Standard Li-Ion 4400 mAh battery whereas PlayBook has Standard Li-Po 5300 mAh battery, which gives up to 10 hours of talk time. The battery is one major factor that will give Apple's tab a great boost in sales, believe many.
4G LTE Connectivity: This time Apple will launch 4G LTE network with iPad 3, confirms iMore. Some leaked images of the back panel of iPad 3 have fueled predictions of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) support.
Though PlayBook has 4G LTE connectivity, yet Amazon does not provide 4G with Kindle Fire to keep the cost down and avoid costly data plan. The Fire supports Wi-Fi only.
iPad 3, on the other hand, is expected to pack a new, thinner LTE chipset to offer significantly higher download and upload speed compared to iPad 2 3G HSPA/HSPA+ and CDMA/EVDO networks.
Camera: Apple faced major criticisms due to the poor cameras (0.7 MP and front VGA camera) it provided with iPad 2. Rumors are rife that iPad 3 will pack an 8 megapixel back camera as well as a 1.3 MP front camera for video calling. Though PlayBook features a 5 MP rear-camera and 3 MP front camera, Kindle Fire falls behind in this competition as the Amazon tablet sports neither.
Processor: It is still not known whether Apple call its new processor A6 or A5S, but it will definitely launch a new processor with iPad 3.
Various rumors suggest that Apple's next generation iPad will have a redesigned back panel to allow installation of new internal hardware. This would mean that Apple might install a new and better A6 processor ditching the current A5 processor-based logic board.
However, the IBTimes earlier reported that Apple might include a S5L8945X chip on iPad 3, which may be an upgrade of dual-core A5 processor but not A6 quad-core processor. In fact, that can be a step between dual and quad-core processor.
When compared, both Kindle Fire and PlayBook sport a dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9 processor with PowerVR SGX540 GPU and TI OMAP 4430 chipset.
While all these features give iPad 3 an edge over its competitors, absence of microSD card slot and USB port might still dampen the enthusiasm of the Apple lovers.