iPad 3 predictions

iPad 3 predictions

Summary: Higher pixel-density screen, faster dual-core processor, better cameras, more focus on enterprise.


OK, with Apple's press event only hours away, I'm going to lay out my predictions about what the announcement will cover. Feel free to keep score as to how accurate (or off the mark) I am!

Special Coverage: CNET: Live blogging today's event | TechRepublic: Let's talk iPad

Some of these predictions are based on chatter I'm hearing from various sources, others are gut feelings.

  • New iPad ... this is a certainty! We're all just kidding ourselves if we pretend we don't know what this press event is going to cover.
  • As for naming I'm torn between iPad 3 or iPad HD. I'm leaning more towards iPad 3 because that 'HD' moniker is a bit cliché and quite long in the tooth.
  • Pixel density bump from 1024x768 to 2048x1536 to take the screen to a 'retina display' level of density. I'm still curious how Apple will make HD video work on such a dense panel though.
  • No quad-core CPU this time around. I just don't think it's needed yet. What we'll get is a faster dual-core part.
  • Overall form factor of the device will remain much the same as it is. No huge design shifts.
  • No removal of the physical 'Home' button.
  • Siri will make her debut appearance on the iPad (a no-brainer prediction).
  • Better cameras (another no-brainer prediction)
  • Storage to remain at 16GB/32GB/64GB. No 128GB model.
  • Pricing will remain the same (there will certainly not be a price bump).
  • I'm expecting Apple to give the iPad 3 more of a business focus given how well the device is penetrating into enterprise.
  • New iPad could very well available for pre-order immediately and in stores before the end of the week.
  • I'm not sure about 4G LTE support. This will come down to a cost/battery life/coverage tradeoff. Not only is coverage in the US patchy at best (and the speed it offers not much better than current generation technology for many), international support for 4G could be tricky to implement. Given a yearly refresh of the iPad, it might make sense to wait.
  • Battery life to remain at 10 hour mark.
  • iOS 5.1 to bring a new raft of features, such as iPhoto.
  • No changes to the dock connector.
  • No NFC.
  • No 3D display.
  • Updated Apple TV device (the little black box, not a TV with a screen).

In a few hours the guessing will be over and we can start speculating about the iPhone 5!

[UPDATE; How did I do? Pretty well I think!]

Feel free to play along and add your own predictions!

Tune in later today for extensive coverage of the Apple event, both on this blog, other ZDNet blogs, and over on CNET.


Topics: Mobility, Browser, Hardware, iPad, Wi-Fi

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  • I'd Think a More Modest Resolution Bump More Likely

    It seems to me that the resolution bump would probably be more modest than 2048x1536. I don't see them putting that resolution on the device while keeping it at the same price point. For one thing, it's overkill. For another, it's way more expensive to make a 9 inch screen at that density than a 4 inch screen.
    • I don't think so...

      Yes, given the general population eyesight, this resolution is somewhat of a waste.
      Meanwhile, for technical and practical reasons, Apple will not upgrade a device with a resolution that is not a twofold factor increase.
      It will be 2048x1536.
      • You're Right, I Haven't Been Paying Attention

        The resolution was basically leaked a while ago, and similar resolution Android tablets have already been announced. It still seems like overkill. I like 15.4 inch laptops with 1680x1050 resolution, but a lot of people ask me to turn the resolution down on those. I guess if you are using code to enlarge everything for the high resolution screen by doubling pixel counts, you can overcome that objection, but you're not really benefiting after a certain density.
  • You're missing the most important one...

    Haptic feedback is likely the surprise for today.
    Whether it will end up being a gimmick or the future remains to be seen.
    • Finally...

      No haptic. That was all hype.
  • This just in from AppleInsider. Haptic feedback touch technology

    This could be a last minute "Great Scoop" and seems to make sense. Check out the AppleInsider article about a viewing screen that uses haptic feedback technology.

    I'm intrigued!!!! I hope this rumor is true.
  • Still holding out for 7/8 inch...

    The form factor for a paperback book has many advantages and can be made much cheaper. I don't see cannibalisation of big iPad which can be marked as more a laptop replacement.

    Other predictions:

    * A ruggedised iPod touch for children with buttons! (DS killer). App store access, parently controls (which actually work) for browsing.

    * Apple TV based game console (Xbox killer). Apple should have done this years ago.

    * Apple TV: full TV screen with app store access and Siri control.
    The Star King
  • iPad 2

    I'm wondering if they will indeed keep the iPad 2 ( plus an 8gb version ) to offer a lower price point.
  • Memory

    According to jailbreaker Chronic the RAM memory will expand to 1Gb (this according to leaked debug data). We'll see.
  • good ideas

    i wish all the things you talked about will be true.