6 new rumored features of the iPad 3

6 new rumored features of the iPad 3

Summary: 8" iPad, Retina Display, smaller dock connector, LTE, and more, coming March 7th from Apple


I've been covering all of the rumors around the iPad 3, so I figured one more couldn't hurt.

Before I get into the latest rumor, let me recap some of the others.

8" iPad

First off, reports have surfaced that Apple may be testing an 8" display. I previously reported on that, but recently it has been all but confirmed by a "person close to the matter". In all seriousness, the same person that told me about the Kindle Fire weeks before Amazon announced it, mentioned that he saw the 8" iPad working. Keep in mind, it could just be a sample and not actually going to market, but I've got my fingers crossed.

Retina Display

iFixit got its hands on what it believes to be the iPad 3 display. I've included the video below, where the site goes into detail around the screen that MacRumors sent to them. It definitely has all of the characteristics of the rumored iPad 3, not to mention it has a different display connector (see other rumor). If the iPad gets a retina-like display, it's going to be a game changer. See the video below.

Quad-core Apple A6 processor

Other rumors have come out now showing a rumored A5 chip for the iPad 3, with the A6 coming later this year. We won't know until March 7th, but I do think it's funny that we already have rumors now debunking and delaying other rumors.

4G LTE radio for Verizon and AT&T

This one would make a lot of sense for Apple, since it would then let the iPad 3 work on the latest networks. It would require some different placement on the boards, which goes in line with what iFixit discovered, so you never know.

Better front and rear cameras

We've now seen photos that show a larger camera on the back, and even a different size back of the iPad to accommodate. Again, all rumors, but they are all starting to fit together.

New dock connector

We know that the dock connector is a pretty sizable piece in a very small device. Now there are rumors that we'll see a "micro dock" connector. This would make sense, and I'm sure that Apple could sell a converter for older accessories. Given all of the magic that's being packed into the boards of iPhones and iPads, reducing the size of something like the connector would make room for a lot more chips on the board.

Are there any rumors you've been hearing that I haven't covered? If so, share them below.

Topics: Legal, Enterprise Software, Hardware, iPad, Mobility, Networking, Processors

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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  • siri

    i heard there was going to be siri
  • iPad 3

    8" iPad: No. That makes no sense whatsoever.
    Retina Display: Yes.
    A6 Quad Core: No. My sources say A5X.
    4G: Possibly.
    Better cameras: Yes.
    New dock connector: No. At least, not yet. Maybe on the iPhone 5 or next year.
  • Lets see.

    8" is very likely as one report notes that 75% of all Android tablets are of the 7" variety and that has to have a huge impact on this decision.

    LTE is not likely.

    A5 Markings are on pictures of the new CPU but it is showing 30 at the end... What if those markings indicate something like a triple core? This wouldn't be the first time Apple did their own thing.

    If it is 8" it will be retina, if it is 9.7" then the currently leaked display is not retina quality.
    • Um, no

      "8" is very likely as one report notes that 75% of all Android tablets are of the 7" variety and that has to have a huge impact on this decision."

      Um, why, since they aren't selling well? At all.

      "If it is 8" it will be retina, if it is 9.7" then the currently leaked display is not retina quality."

      Yes, it is. Perceived pixel density has the Retina Display characteristic (not being able to perceive individual pixels at viewing distance) at between 230 and 245 ppi.
  • But..It's just a fad....unless it's a Windows 8 Tablet

    According to Loverock.
  • Retina Display

    How is a retina display a game changer? I cant think of a single reason for that kind of extreme high res on a small portable device, what is the killer app?
    • The killer app or apps a retina screen enables are the following.

      Every app which conveys information using text characters will be enhanced using a near retina display screen.
  • 8" screen

    A 8" screen would be a game changer.... I wouldn't buy it! Every other idea sounds good.
    • The Game

      Seeing as you are not the game, I fail to see the merit in your comment.
  • 6 new rumored features of the iPad 3

    Forget about the 8" iPad, its not going to happen. It will cut into the sales of the regular iPad, that and Apple has no reason to go to a smaller sized iPad.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Supply constraints on 10" retinas

      Getting retina displays in the needed quantities could be dicey: that's pushing the envelope pretty far, and greatly limiting how many factories can build them. It may be that there are lines that could build 8-inchers but not 10-inchers, and Cook feels he may need that capacity to meet demand.

      An 8-incher also gives Apple a cleaner way to offer a lower-price unit than keeping the old iPad2 around as the "cheaper iPad". Except for the displays and bezels, the rest of the parts would add together for volume pricing purposes, which wouldn't happen if they split production between iPad2s and iPad3s.
      Robert Hahn
    • Math primer

      If the 8" has the same profit margin, or even absolute profit, how, pray tell, is it cutting into what matters, profit?
      If it attracts a new market that wants a smaller device, it increases this market.
  • Rumors

    The track record on predicting what will appear on electronic devices is poor.
  • iPad 3 and iPad 2s Joint Announcement!


    I have read that when iPad 3 gets announced, Apple will also also announce that they plan to continue to keep iPad 2 as lower cost alternative. This tiered product lineup can be seen with iPhone 4s/iPhone 4 8gb/iPhone 3gs product lineup that is currently in progress.

    I just came across links to an iPad 3 Case and to an iPad 2s case. This case maker already makes an iPad 2 case, which I already purchased and will vouch for as very rugged.

    Why would the iPad2s require a case change unless the iPad 2 is getting a modification or a transformation?

    Let's try to answer the modification question first.

    I have the Gumdrop Military Green iPad 2 case, which wraps around the back, the edges, and the front bezel area of the iPad 2. It has rubber flaps over the mute switch, the headphone jack, and dock connector. It has protruding rubber buttons for the power button, the volume rocker button, and for the Home button. It has protected cutouts for the rear camera and for the speaker. There is a front screen protector that is part of a snap in plastic bezel that has a protected opening for the front camera.

    Is something in the above paragraph getting a change? Is it losing or gaining something? Is something getting moved? Is the size of something going to be increased or reduced?

    There is talks of the iPad 3 getting a larger 8 mega-pixel camera and a reduced size dock connector. Could one or both features be coming to iPad 2s?

    Let's move onto the transformation question.

    Since the iPad was released, there have been many other "Tablets" that have "Come and. Gone." None could stand up to the Apple Juggernaut. The marketing, pricing, and lack of vision of improving consumer experience are all reasons for their failure.

    In the past year, there were two "Tablets" that created a lot of buzz. The HP Touchpad firesale and the introduction of the Amazon Kindle Fire.

    The HP Touchpad was reduced to $99/$149 for its' 16gb/32gb models on a Sat morning. It sold out in 20 mins at most big box retailers. I took a look at WebOS and was very impressed. Better than Android, close to IOS. HP didn't give it much chance to cultivate.

    The Kindle Fire was released before Christmas at $199. It had a 7" screen, a dual core processor, and it was part of Amazon's ecosystem. Amazon's ecosystem provides access to book and product purchases on Amazon.com and access to video streaming on Amazon Prime.

    Prior to the Kindle, any Tablet below $250 had a single core processor, which provided a sluggish Internet surfing experience. The. Kindle Fire's Dual Core processor coupled with Amazon's Cloud Accelerated web surfing on their Silk Web Browser provided a positive Internet surfing experience.

    I tested a friend's Kindle Fire and was very impressed with the performance and the user experience. Amazon definitely did their homework by studying what Apple did "Right" with the iPad and iPhone.

    The takeaway from above. People will buy a low cost good performing small screen Tablet from a brand name manufacturer. Apple noticed.

    Forget the $100 cheap Android tablets from unknown Chinese manufacturers. Junk.

    Barnes and Noble Nook has been marketed as a color ebook reader so customer response will be limited. If they changed marketing on newer Nook Tablet, then maybe they would have some chance to increase sales.

    Here is the million dollar question:

    Is it possible that the upcoming iPad 3 announcement will carry a one-two punch?

    The first punch would be the expected iPad 3 announcement with Quad core processor, 8 mega-pixel camera with 1080p video support, Retina display, and possibly upgraded storage tier with 32/64/128gb configurations. Prices have dropped significantly on storage cards and there are more reasons to fill up the storage a lot quicker on an iPad. Plus, the storage tier for iPad is same as iPhone (16/32/64gb). It needs to be bumped up from iPhone tier.

    The second punch would be the announcement of an iPad 2s that would come with an 8 inch screen, same dual core processor as iPad 2, and 16gb of storage with a $249 price tag. If they did this, then Nook Tablet is dead.

    Amazon has sold a lot of Kindle Fires since it was released. People are buying them because they are more affordable than $500 iPad and the form factor is attractive.

    Amazon.com is attempting to be like iTunes and more. Download rented or purchased movies, download purchased music, and download audiobooks from audible.com. Amazon.com wants to dominate the book business (paper & ebook).

    For Apple, the iPod, the iPhone, and iPad are devices that will drive sales in their App Store, in their iBook Store, and on iTunes.

    For Amazon, the Kindle is the vehicle to drive sales on Amazon.com. There are rumors of a 10" Kindle Fire being manufactured by Foxconn that will get released in Q2. Apple probably knows about this already.

    If Apple released the iPad 2s as an 8" iPad at around $250, then they would take away some future market share from the Kindle Fire. This would put an iPad within distance of affordability for people, who couldn't afford a $500 iPad. This demographic is the target of the Kindle Fire.

    Amazon.com carries so much product between themselves and their affiliates. Throw in Amazon Prime with free 2 day shipping, no sales tax, and video streaming, which makes buying from Amazon.com so attractive. They have the ability to compete with many well known eCommerce sites like Barnes/Noble, Walmart, Target, Toys R US, Netflix, and eBay.

    They could be a potentially serious threat to Apple and its' eCommerce stores. Expect to see more competition between the two.

    Here are the links to the cases:

    iPad 3 case

    iPad 2s case

    UPDATED 2/27/2012

    Gumdrop cases pulled the iPad 2s and iPad 3 case webpages that I had referenced in my prior post.

    A friend of mine knew a person that worked at a popular case manufacturer, not Otterbox nor Gum Drop.

    From what I heard, these case companies are fully in the loop about new product launches before they are announced. They get specifications on the yet to be announced product so that they can design their peripheral beforehand and be ready to ship the final product to stores around the time of the product announcement.

    Because of their NDAs or Non-Disclosure Agreements, they will publicly be tight lipped about any knowledge of any yet to be released product.

    Did you ever notice that when a new IOS product is announced, the accessories are already available.

    I noticed that a page on Otterboxes website is playing dumb about knowing anything about an iPad 2s, an iPad 3, or an iPad Unicorn. See http://www.otterbox.com/ipad-3/ipad-3,default,pg.html.

    I still suspect that there will be two iPads announced on March 7th. It doesn't make sense to make a minor change to iPad 2 and call it an iPad 2S. It is easier to just keep the iPad 2 and call it an iPad 2.

    If they are going to have an iPad 2s, then they are definitely making some changes. Question is what are the changes?

    I think that a 10" iPad 2 at $300 to $350 will cannibalize iPad 3 sales more so than a 7" or 8" iPad 2s at $250. Think of the iPod product lineup where you had the regular iPod, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle. Different iPods at different price points to cover different customers.

    In the case of iPads, you have the 10" iPad with latest hardware, then you have smaller iPad 2s with lower price point. Apple may recommend that you buy a couple of iPad 3 units for mom and dad, while buying a couple of 8" iPad 2s for the kids.

    I could also see the iPad 2S as being pitched to the schools for the eText book because it will be cheaper and smaller.

    You can't see the pulled webpages from gumdropcases.com, but you can see that they clearly have placeholders for two iPad cases by viewing the Google Cache link below. You will see a Drop Tech Series iPad 2s Case and a Drop Tech Series iPad 3 Case.

    Google Cache with iPad 2s and iPad 3 Case on gumdropcases.com

  • Can't believe you mentioned the dock connector

    Space issues? On a tablet?

    Changing the dock is like the hardware equivalent of nuking a software API.
  • Stereo

    Has anyone heard anything about a stereo back camera?
  • $$

    one thing for sure it won't be any cheaper!
    preferred user
  • Really?

    So a smaller dock connector gives room for more chips. But the device is going to be 8" and therefore less room for chips. It's retina, needing more battery but it's 8" so there's less room for a battery. And the display in the. Video is bigger than 8". Does anyone see any inconsistencies in this round up?
    • Yes, really.

      No. More room for chips means you can fit them in the smaller enclosure. Smaller screen means smaller backlight, and less power consumption.
      And NOWHERE did it say that the iPad3 was 8", it said there would be an 8" model.
      Does anyone even read anymore?
  • Dock Connector

    Y'know, up until I actually owned an iDevice (and now two of them), just after Christmas, I thought the Apple connector was absurdly large and clunky. But - there's a nice, firm, metal-to-metal connection in the iPhone and iPad. Not just the contacts, but the connector body and iThing body mate, metal-to-metal. Contrast this with my wife's NookColor, in which the charging jack has become so loose it's almost impossible to get the plug to stay in the right position to actually charge it after less than a year in use.

    I've come to kind of like Apple's big, clunky dock connector, because I like things that work. We used to call that "form follows function" ...