March 16 Opening of New Houston Apple Store May Signal iPad 3 Launch

Apple is expected to announced the iPad 3 next week, but a mystery that still remains is the launch date for it. Also, the week before a major Apple event gets crazy for the rumor mill. Now, The Houston Chronicle reports that Apple’s upcoming  Highland Village retail store will be opening on Friday, March 16.

Apple Houston Highland Village Store

According to the report, the store was originally scheduled to open in January, but due to delays caused by construction, the opening was pushed back to Saturday, March 17th. However, just weeks ago the opening was moved up by a day to March 16, which leads to speculate that the company maybe looking to have the store open for an iPad 3 launch on that day.

This date would be similar to the company’s launch of the iPad 2 a year ago. Last year, Apple announced the iPad 2 on March 2nd, and the device was made available in the U.S. just over a week later, on March 11th. An international launch occurred a few weeks later, on March 25th.

Apple’s new Highland Village store is among the first of the retail stores to be based on a prototype design from the company’s s Upper West Side store in Manhattan.

Rumor: Apple to Unveil 8GB iPad 2 Alongside iPad 3 on March 7

Oh boy, the week before a major Apple is always filled with rumors. Just a few hours ago, it was reported that Apple has stalled Apple TV shipments ahead of the iPad 3 announcement. Now, supply chain sources are claiming that Apple will unveil a cheaper 8GB iPad 2 model alongside the iPad 3 at its media event next week.

DigiTimes reports that according to sources within Apple’s “upstream supply chain,” the iPad maker will release the smaller capacity iPad 2. If this is true, then that would help the company cover a wider price range within the table market.

However, this report was unclear, since it  said Apple would release just two “iPad 3″ sizes: a 16GB and 32GB version, without explaining if and why the company would abandon its current high-capacity 64GB iPad model. DigiTimes’ rumors should always be taken with a pinch of salt.

Apple will unveil the iPad 3 next Wednesday, March 7th at 10 AM PST. You can read the five things to expect in the iPad 3 here. If you were to ask me, I think this rumor might turn out to be true. Here’s why: When Apple introduced the iPhone 4S, they also introduced an 8GB iPhone 4 for $99 instead of a 16GB. There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing a cheaper version of the iPad 2, but the only question that remains to be unanswered is the amount of GB it will have to offer.

Apple Stalls Apple TV Shipments Ahead of iPad 3 Announcement

Recently, rumors of a new Apple TV being announced on March 7th have appeared and part numbers indicating an update alongside the iPad 3 next week have been revealed.

AppleInsider now reports that Apple has specifically been stalling in delivering promised shipments of the device to resellers. In addition, Apple’s own stores are starting to see shortages of the Apple TV as the company reduces the supply ahead of the refresh. Even though the online store is still showing an “in stock” status, the customers that select the in-store pickup option will find that many Apple retail stores are currently out of stock. For locations that are currently out of stock of the Apple TV, the company can still ship orders to the stores for pickup, but even those shipments are starting to see extended timeframes.

Just yesterday, Apple sent out invites for its iPad 3 event on March 7th, and it appears that the updated Apple TV will be making an appearance at that time. If you are looking to purchase an Apple TV, I’d wait until next week.

Apple iPad 3 Event Details, Streams

Apple just sent out invites to the iPad 3 event and it has definitely caught excitement amongst Apple fans and the others who are looking forward to get their hands on the 3 as well.

ipad_2

will most likely have a better display, faster processor along with 4G LTE. However, there are still several things which are unknown about the device. Considering, how secretive Apple usually are, you probably won’t get to know the finer details of the iPad 3 until it is unveiled at the Press conference on March 7th.

Also Read: What to Expect from iPad 3?

The event will be held at 10AM PST on March 7th, 2012 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco where most of Apple’s events take place. Apple has historically streamed only one of their events online. We hope that they will also stream this event online as well.

Here are the sites which will be live blogging the event. You can catch up on all the action, news and pictures as it happens.

http://www.macrumorslive.com/

http://live.gdgt.com/

http://www.theverge.com

 

http://live.gizmodo.com/ipadhd/

Users might be able to watch the live-stream from here. An audio stream of the event might also be available here, when the event starts. We will update this post when more information and live streams become available.

iPad 3 Launch on March 7

Apple has sent out invitations for the iPad 3 launch on March 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. This launch comes almost a year after the launch of the iPad 2.

The invitaion email as shown on WSJ shows a finger over the calendar app that is set to March 7.

It will be interesting to see if the promise of it being ‘Something you really have to see. And touch’ will also  include the anticipated quad core processor and high definition  (2048×1536 Retina) display, in addition to carrying the wireless fourth generation LTE networks.  Apple already has to contend with growing sales of tablets that use Google’s Android software. Its shipments have dropped to 61.5%  from 63.3% world wide in the second quarter.

Other rumors include the possibility of a camera with a higher resolution (either 5 MP or 8 MP). I am expecting Siri to be included too. Stay tuned at 10:00 am on Wednesday.

Best Buy Cuts Price of iPad 2 by $50 as iPad 3 Nears

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the iPad 3 will be announced on March 7th. I’m excited, are you? The report that came out claimed that the iPad 3 will include a 2048×1536 Retina display as well as a quad-core A6 processor and “possibly” 4G LTE networking. My thoughts regarding what we can expect with the iPad 3 can be read here.

Today, it has been discovered that Best Buy is now offering  $50 discounts across the entire line of iPad 2 models, which would further signal that an iPad 3 launch is imminent. Now the price of an iPad 2 starts at $449.99 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model.

In addition,  Engadget reports that Best Buy has begun updating its internal inventory management systems to reflect a “deleted” status for iPad 2 models. However, it should be noted that Best Buy does not have advance notice of new Apple products, especially those that appear to be part of a major media event. MacRumors also points out that Best Buy isn’t the only one reducing iPad 2 prices.  Grocery and retail store chain Meijer earlier this month offered the entry-level iPad for $429, a $70 discount from the regular retail prices.

WSJ: iPad 3 to Support 4G LTE

Just a few hours back it was “confirmed‘” that Apple will announce the iPad 3 on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012. Now a new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that the iPad 3 will come in 4G LTE versions for Verizon and AT&T.

WSJ said that the devices will use a “slower network technology” when LTE isn’t available (probably 3G or EDGE). In addition, the next iPad is expected to have a high-resolution Retina Display, a quad-core A6 processor, which would be in addition to the LTE capabilities. No signs indicate that the AT&T and Verizon iPads will be one model that can operate on both networks or separate models with individual SKUs, as they are currently.  4G LTE is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards and provides much faster speeds versus 3G.

Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. will sell a version of the coming iPad that runs on their newest fourth-generation wireless networks, according to people familiar with the matter, as the battle to cash in on big investments in mobile broadband heats up.

Apple Inc. appears to be planning to announce the latest version of its tablet computer in the first week of March, according to another person briefed on the matter.

Whether other carriers will also sell the device couldn’t be learned.

In the past, ex-Apple employees have said that the company  frequently engages in the practice of “controlled leaks”, which is the practice of partially notifying trusted reporters with product information before the launch of a new product.

If the rumors do turn out the be true, then I indeed predicted the iPad 3 correctly last month. :-)

iPad 3 to Be Announced on March 7th

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was debunked that Apple would be holding an event for the iPad 3 in February. Today, a new rumor has popped up and it seems to be true. iMore reports that Apple is planning to hold their iPad 3 on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. In the past, a majority of Apple’s events have been on a Wednesday.

In addition, the report also claims that the iPad 3 will include a 2048×1536 Retina display as well as a quad-core A6 processor and “possibly” 4G LTE networking. They cite sources “who have been reliable in the past”. Now you maybe thinking that anyone can come up with such a rumor, but well-connected Jim Dalrymple of The Loop also backs up the claim with a simple “Yep”.  Dalrymple has been reporting on Apple for over 20 years and has been known to have sources inside Apple.

If we look back at history, this can very well be true:

iPad:

Announced: Jan 27, 2010
Released: Mar 5, 2010

iPad 2:

Announced Mar 2, 2011
Released: Mar 11, 2011

My thoughts regarding what we can expect with the iPad 3 can be read here.

Rumor Regarding Apple Event in February Debunked

Yup, it is that time of the year again. The time of the year where media goes all crazy over iPad 3 rumors and reports on every single one, but luckily there are still a few sane reports that come out. A few hours ago, a Japanese blog Macotakara reported that Apple would be holding a “strange” type of event in early February for the iPad 3. The author was unable to provide further details on what exactly a strange event would entail.

When I first read this, it drove me nuts. “Strange” type of event? WTF was that even supposed to mean? I knew it was nonsense right off the bat, but luckily a more credible journalist thought the same way too. The Loop’s well-connected Jim Dalrymple reported a few hours after that Apple won’t be holding an event in February. Dalrymple has been reporting on Apple for over 20 years. Not only is he right, but if you take a look a back at history we can conclude that his sources are accurate:

iPad:

Announced: Jan 27, 2010
Released: Mar 5, 2010

iPad 2:

Announced Mar 2, 2011
Released: Mar 11, 2011

So indeed, it does look like an iPad 3 event will be held in March with it also becoming available in March. My thoughts regarding what we can expect with the iPad 3 can be read here.

5 Things to Expect with the iPad 3

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.

 iPad 2 box

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.

Bottom Line

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.