With the iPhone 4S now a few months old and a next-generation iPhone (rumoured to be called the iPhone 5) not expected until later this year, most of the hype over the last few months has been focused on the expected iPad 3 and the possible iTV project underway, The Sydney Morning Herald informs.
So, when will the iPad 3 (or whatever the next iPad will be called) actually make its debut and arrive in stores? That, like everything else, is up for debate.
Apple will ship the so-called “iPad 3” with a full HD display in March and then “iPad 4” – named so by its component suppliers – with killer applications in October, according to industry sources in Taiwan, according to DigiTimes.
Chris Hall, editor of Pocket-lint.com, said, as cited by Metro: ‘I’m certain there will be an updated iPad in 2012. It might not be called the iPad 3 but Apple won’t sit still.
“I’d expect to see it arrive in spring, perhaps March. This would match the previous iPad launch and Apple will want to make sure they keep pushing their tablet to stay ahead of the game,” Kat Hannaford, editor of Gizmodo UK, said.
“Gone are the days when we had to wait three months for the original iPad to launch on our shores. We can now expect the iPad 3 to go on sale within a couple of weeks of Apple announcing it.” At the same time it seems questionable that Apple will launch two iPads in just few months.
The longest standing rumour about the next iPad, which many believe will be called the iPad 3, is that it will feature a high-resolution screen that will put the tablet on par with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S’ retina display.
“We can certainly expect the third-generation iPad to have a clearer, more highly-detailed screen in comparison to the iPad 2 but there’s a chance it might be slightly fatter to compensate for that,” Hall said.
Hall added: “I’d like to see a higher resolution display, not because I think it needs it but because it would really push the envelope.”
“Ironically, I’d like to see more physical connections so I could simply and easily connect my camera, for example. I’d also like to see a less reflective screen paired with increased brightness for those that want to use it outdoors.”
The first-generation iPad and the iPad 2 both feature a 1024-by-768 pixel resolution touchscreen. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported the rumour that the iPad 3 would have twice the resolution of the first two models, upping the ante to 2048-by-1536 pixels with a 326 dpi.
One more widespread rumour has been that the next iPad would be offered in not just one screen size, but possibly two sizes with the current 9.7-inch (24.63-centimetre) being complemented by a new, smaller model.
That smaller iPad has been rumoured to have a screen of a few different sizes, but a persistent rumor is that 7 inches (17.78 centimetres) would be the choice. The iPad 3 is rumoured to include a new CPU that is expected to be called the A6.
In the US, the iPad 2 is currently only available in its 3G variation with AT&T and Verizon service. Rumours as to a Sprint-compatible iPad are circulating, as are rumours that the iPad 3 will connect to 4G LTE networks.
Hannaford said: ‘An increase on the front and rear-facing camera sensors is a given, with a possible jump to five megapixels at the very least.
‘Small additions to the iOS 5 software, such as Siri, will give punters more incentive to upgrade.
‘I’d also like to see memory card slots, a USB port and a move to make the iPad a genuine replacement for a laptop, through software.’
The March launch of iPad 3 as well as the price cutting for iPad 2 will enable Apple to fend off competition from non-iPad vendors including Sony, Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics, who currently price their tablet PCs at US$359 or above, commented the sources.
However, the competition in the segment may continue to heat up in the second quarter of 2012 as Google reportedly may also launch an own-brand tablet PC in April, competing with Kindle Fire in the entry-level segment, the sources told DigiTimes.