Apple’s iPad is still the most popular tablet on the market, despite the heavy competition from the faster, better-looking and more functional Android tablets, which is pretty cool, but not that surprising since the iPad was the first tablet and everybody likes the super simple interface of iOS.
The iPad 2 has also been on the market since May 2011, and it has sold more units than the first model, beating every record for the new market. But while the iPad 2 was a definite improvement over the first model, but it is now time for Apple to release the next product in line, and the rumor mill has been cranking out speculations about the iPad 3 for a pretty long time now, so what do we know and think about the next big tablet from Apple at the moment?
There’s not a lot of confirmed rumors out there, that’s for sure. While we don’t know the exact release date or even the timeframe within a few months, it’s a fact that the tablet will be coming to the market in 2012, most probably in the first half of the year, because Foxconn (Apple’s main manufacturer) said they would be starting production of Apple’s new product (it wasn’t specified which one, though) in January-February of 2012.
Apple is also reportedly working on their next generation A6 processor, which will most likely be a quad core unit, seeing as the technology is already ready for mass production and the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S already feature the dual core A5, so the hardware specs should only go up. The amount of RAM is also supposed to double, from the 512 MB on the iPad 2, to 1024 MB on the iPad 3.
One thing that was a bit disappointing on the iPad 2 was the display, which is the same 9.7 inch, 1024×768 pixels unit that is used in the first iPad.
It is highly likely that the iPad 3 will feature a brand new Full HD display with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels (pretty amazing, right?). Supporting this rumor is the fact that Apple is actively testing different display technologies from various suppliers and arranging for a steady production of the new panels, which is no easy thing to do seeing as there’s no company that is producing such a high resolution display. If this resolution is used, it will not change for a very long time (who needs to go any higher on a 10 inch tablet?).
The resolution will most likely not be lower than 2048×1536 because iOS, which runs on the iPhone and iPad, does not support dynamic resolution change for apps, and if you use a non-standard resolution, all of the current apps will be stretched or garbled, and it would require a pretty massive rewrite of the OS itself, as well as most of the apps on the market to fix this, which would leave iOS in a vulnerable position, kind of like Honeycomb did not have any compatible apps for the first month it was on the market.
The iPad 3 will also supposedly have a smaller dock connector, an NFC chip inside and support for 4G LTE – the first generation of LTE radios consumed too much power, so Apple decided to wait until the second generation is ready before integrating them into the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 – that may have been a good decision, seeing as most people can’t even use 4G LTE at the moment and it eats the battery faster than the display backlight on most LTE phones.
These are the main rumors and specs about the iPad 3, and by the looks of it, most of them should be true, but I suppose we have to wait and see when Apple actually announces the new tablet.