Several sources are reporting that Apple will announce the iPad 3 on March 7. The website iMore claims that they have confirmed the next generation tablet will feature Retina display, a quad-core A6 processor, and possibly 4G LTE.
Jim Dalrymple also said Apple will announce the iPad 3 on Wednesday, March 7. Both reports line up with a previous AllThingsD rumor that claimed Apple would unveil the iPad 3 during the first week of March.
After the iPhone 5/iPhone 4S fiasco I'm not convinced Apple is going to release an iPad mini this year. Apple didn't need a new low-end iPhone to compete with other smartphone manufacturers at the end of 2011 like a lot of analysts predicted they would. The iPhone 4S performed well, and the iPhone 3GS allowed them to compete in the low-to-mid end market without having to release a new affordable phone. However, some analysts still believe Apple will release an iPad mini to compete with the Kindle Fire in 2012.
A Technology Business Research analyst believes Apple plans to release an iPad mini sometime this year. "I believe that's always been in the plan," Ezra Gottheil told Computer World. "Actually that's a good form factor for some users, and although they will also charge a premium above other similar-sized tablets, they want to protect that price flank."
When will Apple release the iPad 3? That's the big question. According to AllThingsD, Apple will make their big announcement in the first week of March at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The official street date is unknown, but if AllThingsD is correct you can expect the device to be available sometime mid-March.
As for specifications John Paczkowski didn't have anything new to add. Paczkowski said we can expect a "device similar in form factor to the iPad 2, but running a much faster chip, sporting an improved graphics processing unit, and featuring a 2048×1536 Retina Display"... Which has pretty much been the consensus all along.
The rumor mill went into high gear after RepairLabs posted an image featuring the back housing for the next generation iPad. The alleged iPad 3 photo shows several changes when compared to the iPad 2. Here's RepairLabs conclusions after comparing the two devices (the iPad 2 is on the left, iPad 3 on the right):
A. You can see here that the mounts for the logic board are very different, which means the logic board shape will be different allowing for . . . .
B. More battery. The width of where the logic board sits on the iPad 2 appears much larger than that of the iPad 3. We have long heard that the iPad 3 was going to provide longer battery life, and this back housing seems to support that.
C. The camera is different. It is hard to make a judgment just by looking at the casing, but what we can expect is a different camera on the iPad 3 than what we had on the 2.
D. LCD will be different than what we have had before. Whether or not it will be the super screen we have seen reported will have to wait. But the different mounting does mean that the LCD has been redesigned at the very least.
The Japanese website Macotakara claims Apple will not launch the iPad 3 in February as previously suggested. Instead blogger Danbo says Apple will hold a "strange" event this month followed by a product announcement and launch in March. Macotakara previously cited an Asian supplier and a source in the U.S. as saying Apple would announce the iPad 3 in February. Danbo's new report is more in line with other rumors that have suggested the iPad 3 will be released next month.
As for the "strange" event I can only guess Danbo is talking about a similar affair like Apple's iBooks announcement in New York. Perhaps Apple only wants to focus on its next generation iPad in March, instead of boring us with Cards apps like they did at the Let’s Talk iPhone event last year.
An iPad 3 announcement is still weeks away, but there's no shortage of information on the next generation iOS device. The latest leaks from BGR confirm some important specifications we can expect to see in the iPad 3 hardware.
Screenshots have leaked to BGR of iBoot allegedly running on a prototype iPad 3. Thanks to this debug software, confirmation of several reports from the supply chain appear to be verified on the new hardware itself.
Next generation iPad cases have already begun popping up in China. The latest comes from the case manufacturer Chinee, who claims Apple will release a slightly thicker iPad, possibly called the iPad 2S, sometime this year.
Case manufacturers have already led us astray with the iPhone 5, and now they're starting to contradict each other when it comes to the next generation iPad. An unnamed iPad case designer recently told Cult of Mac that the iPad 3 would be thinner, not thicker. However, Chinee claims to have inside information from sources within Apple’s supply chain. If Chinee is correct, the new iPad will be 1mm thicker than the iPad 2.
A new report from the Japanese website Macotakara (via 9to5Mac) claims the iPad 3 will be announced in early February. This confirms Bloomberg's claim that iPad manufacturers are ramping up production for a possible March release.
Bloomberg said the next generation iPad will feature a high-definition screen, faster processor and LTE capabilities. Previous iPad 3 rumors have suggested a thicker device, HD front-facing camera, and Retina Display.
The iPad 3 rumors are starting to contradict themselves like the iPhone 5 rumors did last year. Cult of Mac cited a " major accessory manufacturer" who said the next generation iPad will be thinner, not thicker as previously reported.
This contradicts many previous claims that the iPad 3 will be thicker due to the new Retina Display.
"While Apple’s predilection for increasingly thinner devices with every generation is well known, the most recent report coming from CES has the iPad 3”s casing pegged as marginally thicker than the iPad 2”s due to the increased demands of the Retina Display, which requires thicker illumination. Our report contradicts that most recent report."
Sounds like those expecting a complete redesign of the iPad in the next generation hardware will be disappointed according to a new report. Apparently iLounge was lucky enough to get their hands on a prototype iPad, and the name iPad 2S is more appropriate than iPad 3 considering the profile of the device.
According to the report, the next iPad is barely thicker than the current iPad 2 model, to the tune of one millimeter. The only visible change to the hardware is a larger rear camera, which resembles that of the iPhone 4S. This includes a silver ring around the camera lens.