Apple iPad 3 to go HD, 4G?

Summary:The iPad 3 is likely to hit volume production in February and hit stores in March. If so, Apple could face an iPad 2 sales slowdown.

Apple's iPad 3 will reportedly hit the market in March and work with Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

According to Bloomberg, the iPad 3 will land in the calendar first quarter. Bloomberg cited manufacturing partners in Asia. In addition, the iPad 3 will sport a quad-core chip.

The iPad 3 is expected to be one of Apple's big revenue drivers for the upcoming year. While the iPad 3 is critical, most analysts expect the iPhone 5, which is also expected to be 4G friendly, to drive sales more.

Volume manufacturing is expected to ramp in February, according to Bloomberg.

If Bloomberg's report is on target, Apple is likely to see a slowdown in iPad 2 sales, which may already be taking a hit from Amazon's Kindle Fire. There has also been speculation that Apple will keep the iPad 2 around and play multiple price points.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster handicapped Apple's iPad plans in a recent research note. He said:

Our model currently assumes iPad 3 will simply replace iPad 2; however, if Apple expands the iPad lineup to both higher and lower price points, the new iPads could support growth well above our current estimates. Our current CY13 revenue growth estimate for the iPad is 11%, with the bull case at 30%.

In a research note, Wedbush Securities analyst Craig Irwin said that the iPad 3 is likely to be a boon for battery suppliers. The iPad 3 is likely to have much more battery material in it. Irwin said suppliers like Simplo, Dynapack and Polymore are likely to benefit.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Banking, Enterprise Software, iPad, Mobility

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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