Rumors regarding the iPad 3 have been coming out since last year, but now they are just all over the place and are bizarre. Hell has broken loose within the rumor mill. It seems that media has gone on a publishing spree with non-stop rumors, but none have mentioned what we definitely can expect in iPad 3. Here are five reasonable things we can definitely expect with the iPad 3.
1. Thinner and lighter?
There’s a pattern I have noticed with every product refresh Apple does. Apple loves to make products thinner and lighter with every refresh. For example, all iOS devices besides the iPad to date have become thinner and lighter at some point. This should be a clear sign that iPad 3 will follow the same pattern. However, I put a “?” in front of “thinner and lighter” because rumors have suggested that the iPad 3 will support the 4G/LTE network. 4G/LTE chips are known to be bigger in size versus 3G chips so I think the iPad 3 will be thicker by a couple millimeters or so, but don’t be alarmed! It won’t be noticeable at all. Oh, and don’t expect much of a design change either. Mind you, if there’s one company that can pull off putting a thicker chip into a thinner and lighter product, it is Apple.
2. Better internal hardware
Another very apparent pattern with every product refresh is improved hardware. From iOS devices to their Mac lineup, this holds true. Since I don’t see any reason for Apple not to continue this pattern, better hardware is certain. I think the new hardware will consist of a new “A6” processor, a better graphics chip, and more RAM (1 GB). I think the “A6″ processor will be quad core since the previous “A5″ chip was dual core. Also, recently Apple acquired Anobit, an Israel-based flash maker company so a new processor breakthrough is a given in my opinion. Not only that, but Apple’s been developing its own processors since the introduction of the first iPad. However, we may not see Apple share the internals of iPad 3 on stage, but we definitely can expect iFixIt to reveal the details.
3. Front facing HD camera + improved back facing camera + FaceTime + Siri
During WWDC two years ago, a new piece of hardware and feature was introduced on the iPhone. The iPhone got a front facing camera and Steve Jobs introduced “FaceTime”. Since then, the front facing camera and FaceTime has made its way into the iPod touch, iPad 2, and Mac. This is clear evidence that the iPad 3 will continue to have a front facing camera, a back facing camera + FaceTime integration. We will not only see these features carry over from the iPad 2, but it will be much improved.
First of all, I think the iPad 3 will offer an HD front facing camera for FaceTime. Currently, Apple’s Mac lineup offers an HD camera for FaceTime and as we move more into the “post-PC” era we will start seeing Apple take many of Mac’s features and integrate it into the iPad/iOS. This will be one of several. Second of all, without a doubt, we will see an improved back camera. Third of all, I think we will see “FaceTime HD” and some other goodies for FaceTime introduced since it has been awhile since Apple has updated FaceTime. “FaceTime HD” meanings that the video quality will be crystal clear. Finally, the iPad 3 will offer Siri as a feature without a doubt.
4. Retina Display
Currently all iOS devices besides the iPad have the same display; the Retina Display. People love the gorgeous screen, and that gorgeous screen is about to come to the iPad 3! About time don’t you think? Rumors have suggested that the iPad 3 will get a Retina Display this year. In addition, Samsung has even shown off a Retina-like display and analysts have even suggested that the iPad 3 will offer a Retina Display screen. The technology is floating around out there, it is only waiting for Apple’s implementation. If after even after two years Apple still isn’t able to offer a Retina Display on the iPad, then I don’t know what it will take. I think if Apple doesn’t offer a Retina Display in the iPad 3 this year many will be disappointed. However, if they don’t due to unknown reasons, the iPad 3 will still sell like hotcakes. My money is on Apple including a Retina Display in iPad 3.
5. Cheaper price
Since there’s no pressure against Apple to reduce the price of the iPad 3, I don’t think we will see a change in the base price. The iPad 3 will start at $499. Instead, I think they will lower the price for the iPad 2. When iPad was first announced, it was competitively priced at $499 and since then no competition has been able to dent its sales. To offer a great tablet for a cheaper price and expands its reach for more customers, I think Apple will offer the iPad 2 for $299. However, it seems that with every product refresh, Apple loves to introduce a new price; which is usually cheaper so there might be a slight chance that the iPad 3 will start at $399, but don’t get your hopes up.
If you have been waiting to purchase an iPad, this refresh would be the perfect reason to. I think the event will be held sometime in late February or early March and will become available a week or two after the event. In addition, the rumors about this product refresh being a two-part refresh should be ignored. We won’t see Apple introduce a 7″ iPad and we certainly won’t see Apple introduce another iPad this year. There will only be one iPad announced this year and it will be called the iPad 3. Apple doesn’t work like that and their roadmap for iOS product refreshes should be fairly clear by now.