Now that we’re into the ‘iPad season’ portion of the year, I’ve started thinking about what to do with the current iPads in my household in the lead-up to launch of the iPad 3 (or whatever the next-gen iPad ends up being called).
Right now I use an iPad 2 64GB WiFi + 3G model, and my wife and daughter share an original iPad that’s also 64GB and WiFi + 3G (handed down when I bought the iPad 2 on launch day last year).
Unless Apple decide to announce that the iPad 3 will be made of Play-Doh and powered by Android, I’ll be getting one on launch day again. And I’m sure my wife and daughter will be more than happy to take the iPad 2 as another hand-me-down at that point. My daughter is getting more and more use out of the iPad and some great educational apps as well as fun games on it – so the substantial upgrade from the original iPad will get put to good use.
Those clever guys at BGR have heard from a source who claims to be in possession of an iPad 3 prototype. That source has run a debugging tool called iBoot that is said to have uncovered a couple of key details about the specs for the iPad 3:
— It’s got an A6 quad-core processor
— The WiFi + model will have support for GSM, CDMA, and LTE – for 4G data capability.
Needless to say the the photo could be a fake and the information could be inaccurate – but the possibility of a prototype being out ‘in the wild’ seems just about plausible as we’ve seen numerous reports of late on how iPad 3 production has already begun.
The quad-core processor is hardly a stretch to believe, while the LTE support is a little less of an oddsmaker’s favorite I’d say. And I still hope that LTE is not coming to this year’s model – unless Apple have worked some sort of magic that doesn’t allow it to be a massive battery killer.
Hopefully we are getting very close to an Apple iPad 3 launch event that will put an end to all the waiting and speculating.
As we get closer to the expected launch timeframe for the iPad 3 (or whatever the next-gen iPad ends up being called), more evidence is emerging that appears to prove that an improved Retina quality display will be part of the new iPad.
9to5Mac have shared some images – provided by their reader @sonnydickson - showing references to iPad2x images within the new iTunes U app and the iBooks 2 app.
I’ve thought for some time that a Retina display is a virtual lock for the iPad 3. Seeing images like these only serves to reinforce that view.
Jeremy Horwitz, the Editor-in-Chief of iLounge.com, has apparently laid eyes on the next generation iPad, at CES yesterday.
Horwitz says the new iPad he saw is a lot more like an iPad 2S, in terms of looks and size. It looks virtually identical to an iPad 2 and is very nearly the same size – just a tiny bit thicker (around 1mm). All its buttons are the same and in the same place.
From the back, you could walk past this new iPad on display and have no idea that anything had changed.
Another small differences noted by Horwitz is on the rear camera:
… the camera in the upper left corner has become bigger—noticeably so when placed alongside the iPad 2, but not so huge that anyone would think they were different at a distance. The new camera hole is silver-ringed, and does in fact look the same size as the iPhone 4S’s much-improved rear camera system, minus the LED flash.
The good news in relation to the size remaining almost exactly the same as the iPad 2 is that most iPad 2 accessories should also work with the iPad 3 if this all proves accurate. One of the main exceptions will be cases that are designed to fit the back of the iPad very precisely (the same sort of cases that will not fit correctly if you apply a screen protector type cover).
Now that 2012 is just round the corner, one thing we can start to look forward to is the iPad 3, or whatever name Apple chooses to give to the next generation iPad.
Unless there’s a drastic change to Apple’s release cycle for the iPad, we will see the iPad 3 released in the first 3-4 months of the new year – most likely in February or March I’d guess.
So this seems as good as good a time as any to share my short wish list for the iPad 3 and the iPad in 2012. My list is short because the iPad 2 is a spectacularly good tablet already. Here’s what I’d like to see in the iPad 3 and the iPad line in general in the coming year:
— An improved, retina display. Happily, I think this is just about a lock to be one of the key features of the next iPad. The iPad’s display is already superb – but a bump up to retina quality will be very welcome.
— A better, faster processor. Again, I think this is pretty much a given fortunately.
— An upgrade to 1GB of RAM. I was hoping to see this on the iPad 2, and I think it’s definitely time for this in the next gen. This would be a big boost for iPad gamers and game developers, as well as for all of us who like running a number of powerful apps of all kinds on our iPads.
Today 9to5Mac details some new reports that point at an early release for the iPad 3 next year. These say that the iPad 3 will be launched in February 2012, and on a very specific and meaningful date:
According toFocus Taiwan which cited a local report in the Chinese Economic Timesnewspaper, Apple is shooting to launch iPad 3 on Steve Jobs’s birthday anniversary on February 24.
We’ve seen a number of rumors around over recent months suggesting that iPad 3 production was already being ramped up to target a February launch.
I’m sure Apple are not going to rush the release of the iPad 3 just so it can be released on a sentimental date – but if it does happen to be ready to go at that stage and is launched on that day, that would be a heck of a nice little tribute.
Even if these rumors prove way off the mark, the good thing is that as we roll into 2012 the iPad 3 launch is not far off.
It’s getting close to the end of 2011 now – and of course the iPad 3 rumors are starting to heat up. Since the original iPad launched in April (of 2010) and the iPad 2 launched in March (of this year), and since Apple tends to follow regular refresh cycles for its products, it’s not rocket science to predict that the next-gen iPad should be released somewhere close to the fist quarter of next year.
This week’s iPad 3 rumors suggest an early release within that timeframe though. In fact the latest ones – based on an analyst report out of Citigroup – says we should expect the iPad 3 release in February of 2012.
It’s said the iPad 3 will have the much-anticipated retina display at 2048X1536. That seems almost a given by now. Some recent rumors also say the iPad 3 will be thicker while maintaining its 9.7 inch screen size and compatibility with Apple’s Smart Covers.
My quick reaction to these:
Retina Display – let me think about that for less than a second. Yes please!
February release: Yes please with bells on, and also Holy Crap best start saving a few pennies.
Compatibility with Smart Covers: Definitely a big Yes. I don’t consider the smart cover an accessory anymore – it’s more like an essential part of my iPad 2.
Thicker: Ah, not so much. I’d rather if we keep going thinner as far as possible without battery life or other major performance factors suffering.
What do you all think of these latest iPad 3 rumors?
Now that Apple finally deigned to release a new iPhone, it looks like the iPad 3 rumor mill will now gradually rev up to full-on crazy levels over the next few months. And it has already started of course.
Here’s one early favorite – a recent report at AllThingsD highlights the claim by a financial analyst that production of the next-gen iPad is already getting underway this quarter:
According to Susquehanna Financial analyst Jeff Fidacaro, the device is headed into production.
Supply chain checks suggest to Fidacaro that Apple is ramping up its fourth-quarter iPad builds to between 12 and 14 million, from between 11 million and 13 million. And, importantly, that upward adjustment is due in part to an early iPad 3 production run.
Here’s hoping this one is accurate and if it is that production for the iPad 3 ramps up further over the next few months, so that when it’s released we don’t see supply shortages quite so quickly.
As Apple Insider reports, at least one Wall Street analyst believes Apple is in no rush to release the iPad 3.
Apple reportedly has prototypes for its third-generation iPad already circling in its supply chain, but no new model is expected to arrive this year as a true second-place tablet has yet to emerge.
Analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. Morgan revealed on Friday that his conversations with industry insiders have revealed that Apple’s next iPad will not be available until sometime in 2012, even as prototypes for the device begin to circle in the supply chain.
"In our view, Apple should be in no rush," he said. "The other tablet entrants have stumbled so far, and that trend-line could persist deep into 2012."
I have to admit, I was one of those who thought there was a lot of traction earlier this year in rumors saying Apple would release either the iPad 3 or an iPad HD or iPad Pro before the end of this year. The two arguments behind that which made sense to me were the potential shift of the iPad annual release cycle to autumn, to maximize holiday sales impact; and to deal a blow to the new 2011 iPad rivals that were expected to emerge this year.
Well, clearly that second scenario just hasn’t panned out. There’s still not a single strong rival tablet on the market, and many still say there’s no such thing as a tablet market right now, just an iPad market. One big potential rival, the TouchPad, has already been discontinued, and sales numbers for the Xoom and the PlayBook are tiny.
So I’d have to agree now that there’s no need or incentive for Apple to hurry a release of the next-gen iPad. I imagine we’ll see them stick with the ‘standard’ iPad release timeframe of March/April next year now.
After months of speculation about a release of an iPad 3 or iPad HD / iPad Pro this fall, it now looks very unlikely that we’ll see that happen. If Apple ever was planning for that sort of fall release, it looks like either supply issues or the continuing absence of any real competition has convinced them to back off those plans.
The latest ‘rumor’ reports today are via a report in The Wall Street Journal – the gist of which is that Apple is aiming to release a new iPad ‘early next year’ with a much-improved display.
The next generation iPad is expected to feature a high resolution display – 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2 …
Shocking eh? A new iPad early in 2012 – say somewhere around March like the iPad 2 – and an upgraded display. In other words, Apple is sticking with its existing release pattern for the iPad.
I think the baseball equivalent of this ‘rumor’ would be that the Yankees will spend a lot of money this offseason and probably be strong contenders in the AL East.
Today there are further reports circulating that indicate the release of a new iPad model in the last quarter of this year. This rumor has been around off and on since late last year and doesn’t seem to ever completely go away.
There seems to be a lot of consensus around two major reasons for this release timing: to crush the new crop of iPad rivals (the first real competition) that are coming out this summer; and to switch the iPad annual refresh cycle to take full advantage of the more target-rich winter holiday period. Both of those seem plausible enough to me.
Also getting a lot of coverage today is the discovery of images in the iOS 5 beta that show doubled-up resolution (to 2048X1536) and quadruple the number of pixels for the iPad. This is fueling further speculation that the iPad 3 will have a greatly improved display, up to near ‘Retina’ quality.
Honestly, I think the major display upgrade for the iPad 3 is one of those rumors that Vegas probably would no longer take bets on, as in there’s almost no chance at all that Apple would release a next-gen iPad without that upgrade.
Although it gets tiresome trying to wade through Apple and iPad rumors at times, I’m always happy to see the iPad 3 ones, as I hope the persistence of these means the odds are increasing that we’ll see it before the end of the year.