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.