Rumors are flying fast and thick about the iPad 3, so I thought I’d throw together a quick summary along with my thoughts about what we might see.
- Launch Date. I think the reports of an announcement for the iPad 3 on March 7 are probably accurate. That doesn’t mean the iPad will be available that day. Apple has dropped new iPads on a Friday (iPad 2 released at 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 11, 2011) and on a Saturday morning (iPad 1 released 9:00 a.m. Saturday, April 3, 2010). Based on this, I’d expect the iPad 3 as early as Friday, March 9th or Saturday, March 10th. I just hope it is released before I have to go to Chicago for ABA TechShow on March 28th.
- Retina Display. You can count on this. Expect the same size display with 2048×1536 resolution, double that of the iPad 1 and 2. I expect the March 7 announcement will display apps that take advantage of this extra resolution, like Infinity Blade 2 and Real Racing.
- 8 inch iPad?. No way, no how. I don’t care what you read in the Verge, I just can’t see Apple adding an 8 inch iPad to its product line up. Doesn’t fit the story of their other devices, doesn’t have a compelling use case, nothing. I do suspect that they test other size devices all the time for research reasons or just to throw off technology blogs, but this is nothing that will ever see the light of day.
- 4G/LTE. Despite being more or less confirmed by Apple’s unofficial media outlet the Wall Street Journal, I’m skeptical. Unless the iPad 3 is as thick as my old Property Law hornbook, I don’t see how it will be able to drive the new Retina display and support a (notoriously power hungry) 4G radio while still offering the same battery life.
- Thicker. From what I’ve read about the new Retina display, a slightly thicker form factor seems likely to accommodate the additional battery. Anyone with a form fitting may still be in luck. The predictions call for only a 1 mm increase in thickness.
- Better Camera. You bet. In fact, a thicker device makes it easier for Apple to include a better camera. All that said, I’ve never used the rear facing camera on my iPad 2 and I only use the front facing camera to video conference or FaceTime chat. This is not terribly important to me.
- A6 Chip. I think the faster, A6 chip is a given. What we don’t know is whether it will be quad core. Latest rumors I have read point to a dual core A6 chip with improved GPU, but no quad core. I’d think the graphics bump in the GPU is more important to driving the new display than quad core. That said, I can’t think of a time I’ve complained about the processing speed of the iPad. This is more one for the developers: apps we haven’t even seen yet. I won’t miss a quad core, but would love to see what developers can squeeze out of it.
- Siri. I can’t think of any reason why Siri would not be included. I’d love for this to be the case as I am constantly holding the home button of my iPad expecting Siri to accept my voice commands. I’ll be glad when that muscle memory is not going in vain.
- iPad 2 Discontinued? I don’t think so. Expect the iPad 2 to continue to be available at a lower price point, much like Apple does with prior iPhone models.
- Will I Be Getting One? I still don’t know. If I didn’t write this blog, I’d be hard pressed to justify another new iPad. Heck, even with this blog its a bit much. But other than season tickets for the Portland Timbers, tech toys is one of the few places I splurge. I’ll probably decide after I see the announcement. If I do upgrade, it will be primarily for the Retina Display and Siri. Quad core, LTE and camera won’t really change my use case much.
So there you have it. What features are you most looking forward to?