Yikes! One post about the iPad 3 and my inbox is stuffed with people who think that I know more about Apple's plans that I'm letting on!
What do we know about the iPad 3?
NOTHING.Outside of Apple (and the associated companies involved in development and supply chain), no one knows anything about the iPad 3. Sure, there are a lot of rumors and speculation going around, but it's important to be aware that it is rumor and speculation, and not information. The hit rate for the Apple rumors spread by pundits and tech sites being even vaguely accurate is appallingly low ... bear that in mind next time you get excited about something! We're left with guesses, at best, educated guesses, as to what's coming up next from Apple.
Here are my best educated guesses to some of the questions I've been asked today:
Oh, and no, I don't know more than I'm letting on, and no, I don't have an iPad 3 here in the lab like one person claimed (although I would say that, wouldn't I ...).
When?If history is anything to go by, Apple announces iPads in March and makes them available for pre-order shortly after. However, bear in mind that with Apple you can't rely on past history ... look at how everyone was thrown a curveball with the iPhone 4S.
What about the January release rumor?Nonsense.
How much?Like I said earlier, I'm not holding my breath for a price cut. Sure, I'd like a price cut, but there's no real reason for Apple to cut prices. The iPad is selling well and there's no real competition to it out there.
What will it look like?Given the lengths that Apple has gone to to patent the design of the iPad, I thick it's safe to assume it's not going to be radically different from what we have now. Don't expect a smaller or larger tablet either ... given how devices such as the Kindle Fire have show how 7-inch tablets suck, that's no going to happen.
What about the hardware?I expect the iPad 3 to be evolutionary not revolutionary. I expect a better CPU and GPU, possibly more RAM and maybe expanded storage up to 128GB. There will also be a better battery powering all this, but it remains to be seen if it will result in better battery life.
What about 4G/LTE?It makes sense to offer that, and doesn't add much to the cost though, but it would chew through battery life. My guess is that Apple didn't add LTE to the iPhone until a power-efficient chipset became available. With that said, my guess is it won't be offered on the iPad 3.
What about Near Field Communication (NFC)?Has NFC made much of a splash on Android handsets? No. Why would Apple add it to the iPad and not the iPhone?
Better cameras?Likely. The camera on the iPhone 4S is top-notch.
What about a 'retina display' or 'HD display'?No, for reasons I outlined here. You've been reading DigiTimes, haven't you?
What about the 'two versions' theory (HD and standard)?No. More after hours DigiTimes reading, right?
3D display?Hahahahahahahah ... no.
What version of iOS?Historically the iPad hasn't been the platform of choice for Apple to unveil a new version of iOS, so I expect it to run a version of iOS 5 if it is released in early 2012.
Thinner? Thicker?Not that you'll notice!
Let's see how many of these I get right!
What do you expect from the iPad 3? What would you like to see?