iPad 3 Rumor Roundup


Apple’s special media event—one that many believe is being held for the next-generation iPad—is now just a day away. Come Wednesday, we’ll know once and for all how many of those pesky rumors were true and which ones were simply pie-in-the-sky dreams.


Because there are so many elements to consider for the as-yet-unannounced iPad, which is being referred to as the “iPad 3,” I thought we might want to examine some of the more persistent rumors on the web.


Retina” display

The rumor that has probably received the most coverage and had the highest number of “confirmations” across reliable publications has been the one that states the iPad 3 will have a high-resolution “retina” display similar to the one in the iPhone 4 and 4S. An iPad with a retina display has actually been rumored since before the iPad 2 was introduced a year ago, and some observers were disappointed when the iPad 2 appeared with the same resolution as its predecessor.


Higher megapixel camera(s)

The camera rumors haven’t been quite as prolific as those of the “retina” display, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the next-gen iPad will indeed have a better camera or two. Rumors from the beginning of the year claimed the front- and rear-facing cameras would both get an upgrade, with a newer rumor suggesting the rear-facing camera might go up to 8 megapixels. (It’s worth noting that the camera currently in the iPhone 4S is also 8 megapixels.)


I don’t know a lot of people who use their iPads for photography like I do my iPhone, but perhaps that’s because the iPad 2’s camera isn’t much to write home about but perhaps Apple is looking to expand people’s use of the front- and rear-facing cameras for things like FaceTime and other casual camera use.



For many users, the iPad 3’s rumored processor bump is one of the more interesting aspects of the new device. The processor is also one of the most talked-about elements while also being one of the most inconsistent.


Earlier rumors suggested Apple might move to a quad-core design for its next-gen mobile processor—rumors that were bolstered by evidence found within Apple’s Xcode late last year. Newer reports, however, indicated that the processor might retain the same dual-core processor as the one in the iPad 2 with improved Imagination Technologies GPU cores.



Until now, the iPad has always come in WiFi-only and WiFi+3G configurations, but the latest rumors from publications like Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have pointed towards 4G/LTE support in the next-gen iPad. If true, it would make the iPad 3 the first of Apple’s mobile products to make use of these high-speed networks being built by Verizon and AT&T.


And the timing makes sense: both AT&T and Verizon are vastly expanding their 4G networks this year, so extra-high-speed data should be easier for many of us to access by year’s end.


Form factor

Here’s some potential bad news: multiple rumors have now stated that the iPad 3 will be ever-so-slightly thicker than the iPad 2. The latest numbers put it at 0.81mm thicker than the iPad 2—yes, less than one millimeter—but the change will undoubtedly frustrate those who always count on Apple’s devices to get thinner over time, not thicker.



In addition to the major rumors above, there have been a number of other rumors related to the iPad 3. Some of them are a bit more plausible than others.


On the “more plausible” side is Siri support: ever since Apple’s virtual personal assistant was introduced with the iPhone 4S last October, people have been talking about Apple bringing Siri to the iPad. Apple currently limits Siri to the iPhone 4S.


In the middle is an alleged price increase that might come with the next-gen iPad. Rumor has it that the iPad 3 will see an increase of $80 for WiFi-only models and $70 for WiFi+3G models over the current iPad 2, putting it at a $579 price point for the WiFi model.


And finally on the least likely end of the scale is the so-called “iPad mini.” This one has been buzzing in the background for over a year, but claims of a 7-inch iPad recently sprung out of Technology Business Research once again. Even more recently, DigiTimes claimed that Apple was planning a 7.85-inch iPad for late 2012.



As with all unannounced products, there’s no way to know which elements are true and which aren’t until Apple goes on stage to tell us. Still, when there’s smoke, there’s fire—for the most part, rumors that are frequently reported by publications with reliable sources end up coming true at one point or another.

What do you believe will be included in the iPad 3 specs? Do you think there will be an iPad 3 at all? Guess you’ll just have to hold your breath until Wednesday when the Apple event goes live.


Are you itching to see what the iPad 3 might look like and don’t want to wait until Wednesday?


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