Apple rumor round-up: New MacBook Air, Lion July 13th, iPad HD this fall, iPod Touch getting 3G?

Here's today's digest of the latest Apple speculation.
Written by Ricardo Bilton, Contributor

The iPad HD: built for pros?

Hot on the heels of  the latest iPhone 5 rumors comes further speculation that Apple is planning an HD version of the iPad. This rumor happens to smell a lot like previous rumors that the iPad 3 would come with a hi-resolution display like the one in the iPhone 4. The main difference with the most recent rumor and previous is that Apple would be bringing the HD goodness to the iPad 2 and not to a new device - or at least that's the story that This is my nextis reporting. This new iPad, dubbed the iPad HD, will feature a double resolution (2048 x 1536) display aimed at professional users in photography and video. (BGR posted a slightly different version of the same rumor, which came via FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger. They call the device the iPad Plus).

Does the rumor make sense? Sure. Apple has already called 2011 "the year of the iPad", which in its own way lends credence to the idea that it would release a version of the tablet in both halves of the year. But with Apple just now catching up to iPad 2 supply constraints, it seems a bit premature to add a new iPad to the mix.

MacBook Air refresh, Lion release: July 14th

Slightly more plausible is the most recent potential release date for OSX Lion. While July has been pegged as Lion's release date for a while, the latest Apple chatter says that the OS X upgrade couple come as soon as next week.  Also expected shortly is the next refresh for the MacBook Air, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch to suggest that the computers would hit at the same time. This one seems fairly likely.

iPod + 3G = perfection?

Probably the biggest problem with the iPod (and the only real thing besides phone call support that separates it from the iPhone) is the device's reliance on Wi-Fi for data transfer. But what happens if you add 3G to the iPod? Two things: One is that you sort of create an iPod Touch similar to the iPad. And two is you create a very compelling bargain for those less likely to plunk down for a more expensive iPhone. The big question is, how will carriers respond to the all-too-certain spike in traffic consumption that a 3G iPod would create? A data-only smartphone is not something to take lightly.

Previous round ups:

Apple rumor roundup: iPhone 5 this September, hi-res iPad 3, Apple-branded televisions?

Apple rumor round-up: iPhone 5 hard to make, wireless charging coming to iPhone 6

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