iPad 3 Rumors: Release Date to New Features, What You Need to Know About Apple's Newest Tablet

 @julia_greenberg
on February 28 2012 11:31 AM

Apple is expected to release its newest tablet, the iPad 3, in the next week or so. Rumors about the iPad 3's release date, features, specs, price and more are floating around the Internet as tech sites are abuzz in anticipation of the newest Apple tablet.

While most of the rumors remain unconfirmed by Apple, we took a look at the most popular (and conflicting) reports to present you with a guide for managing the overwhelming speculations about the Apple iPad 3.  

When will the iPad 3 be released?

Buzz from the rumor mills online seems to indicate the iPad 3 will be released sometime in early March. Many tech sites have even specified a date, citing Mar. 6th or 7th as the likely released date. According to CNBC, a quad-core iPad 3 with 4G LTE will be unveiled in New York next week. 

How will the iPad 3 differ from the iPad 2?

Battery Power

The iPad 3 may offer a longer-lasting battery than the current iPad 2. DigiTimes reports the iPad 3's battery capability may double the power of the iPad 2. Other sites claim the iPad 3's battery power may not be quite as long-lasting due to the need for more power from the higher screen resolution, more powerful processor and enhanced functions.

Camera

The new iPad 3 is expected to have a better camera than the current iPad 2. Some sites have speculated that the iPad 3 will come with an 8-megapixel camera. The front-facing camera may also be equipped with the ability to capture HD video. The tablet should also feature LED flash to support the new and improved camera function.

Name Change

While tech sites spewing rumors have used the name iPad 3, some sites speculate that Apple's newest tablet may not be called the iPad 3 at all. In fact, some sites believe the updated tablet will be called the iPad 2S, mimicking Apple's decision to call the new, updated iPhone the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5. Other sites speculate that newest tablet may receive a new name all together, such as iPad HD.

Screen Resolution

The iPad 3 will feature a much better and higher screen resolution. A number of reports speculate the display on the iPad 3 could be a 2048x1536 retina display, making it four times as clear as the current screen resolution of the iPad 2. With the new anticipated screen resolution, movies, television shows, pictures and face-to-face interaction would appear as sharp as HD videos.

Siri

Unlike the iPad 2, the iPad 3 may come with the handy digital assistant, Siri. The new voice-enabled feature is currently only available on the iPhone 4S, but may be more useful on a multi-media device like the iPad 3.

Size

Some sites speculate the iPad 3 may also be thinner and lighter than the current iPad 2 depending on the new display technology. Others, however, report that a larger, longer-lasting battery would make the iPad 3 a bit thicker, adding potentially 1mm of thickness.  

Speed

The iPad 3 is also expected to be significantly faster than the iPad 2. Although the exact specs of a new processor have not been revealed, the iPad 3 is expected to have a faster processor than the current dual-core A5 in the iPad 2.

Will the iPad 3 be LTE-enabled?

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the next generation iPad will be available on Verizon and AT&Ts LTE networks. The 4G option would make browsing the internet and multi-tasking significantly smoother and faster than capabilities on the current 3G one. However, 4G connectivity comes at a price. ABC News speculates that the LTE version could run for about $120 more than a Wi-Fi only iPad 3.

How much will the iPad 3 cost?

There has been extended speculation about how much the new iPad 3 will cost. A Chinese website Weibo speculates the new iPad 3 could cost up to $80 more than the iPad 2. However, other sites have claimed that the documentation used by Weibo to support their claims is unclear or bogus.

While the price of the new iPad 3 remains uncertain, one thing is for sure - following the release of the iPad 3, the iPad 2 will be offered at a discounted price. Best Buy has already dropped the price of the iPad 2 by $50 in anticipation of the release of the iPad 3. Once the newer tablet is released by Apple, bargain hunters can expect to purchase the older model for more than $100 less than original retail price. 

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