The tech blog All Things D reports that “their sources” say Apple will announce the iPad 3 at a special event early next month.
“Apple’s not holding an event in February — strange, unusual or otherwise. But it is holding one in March — to launch its next iPad,” says the blog.
Apple typically updates it products annually and the iPad 2 was announced on March 2 last year so this would fit the schedule. All ThingsD suggests that, as last year, Apple will put the device on sale a week or two later.
The blog also says that “the event will be held in San Francisco, presumably at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple’s preferred location for big announcements like these.”
However, an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the timing of the event, saying the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.
Yesterday many tech blogs like 9to5Mac, for example, circulated a photo that appeared to show the back of the next iPad. The picture, which suggested that the new tablet had already entered production, ignited rumours about the iPad 3.
The photograph shows only slight differences from the iPad 2 back and it is possible that the part is not from an ‘iPad 3’ but instead from a rejected prototype or even a fake.
Technology blog The Verge, citing “people familiar with the product,” says that the new iPad will have double the screen resolution of the iPad 2 and as a result will be about one millimeter thicker.
The Verge also says: “What is surprising, however, is that our sources say that the A6 will not be a quad-core chip, but will remain dual-core.”
“We’ve previously heard that the device would have a quad-core CPU as well as an LTE cell radio on-board, but at least part of that story wasn’t accurate.”
RepairLabs, the website that received the photo in the first place, says that the new design appears to suggest a slimmer logic board, meaning that the new device could have a larger battery.
“Our insiders tell us that so far the screen is not out there yet. That could mean that the finished product has not been signed off or that it is being kept top secret,” writes RepairLabs.
It’s impossible to draw conclusions at this stage but as we draw closer to the anticipated launch – which still has not been confirmed by Apple, of course – then we can expect the rumours to increase.
The Verge also reports that “there are 29 days in February this year (it’s a leap year), and the 29th falls on a Wednesday (the day on which Apple has announced every other iPad).”
The Verge’s Joshua Topolsky continues: “The iPad 2 was announced on March 2nd, 2011, and made available the following Friday (March 11th).”
“If Apple were planning on having these ready for the weekend of March 9th, it seems relatively possible that they could choose that date… perhaps with a catchy theme like “It’s time to leap ahead.”