The Apple iPad rumor wheel never stops turning and for those of us out here on the rim it can sometimes be difficult to wade through all the dross and find that one relevant and hopefully plausible little gem of potential truth. The iPad 3 is currently expected by many on the web to go on sale in the US sometime around March. So with this possible release date looming closer and closer what can we say we know about the iPad 3?
Not much. However, some old rumors have crept back up regarding the display, CPU power and connectivity support for the iPad 3. Namely that it will boast an HD display (which means at least 720p), a quad-core CPU and have LTE support for those customers in 4G LTE enabled areas.
HD Display on the iPad 3
It stands to reason that Apple would boost the resolution of the iPad 3, considering that no such upgrade was seen between the original and the iPad 2. Just exactly what kind of improvement we’ll see is currently unknown, but a full retina display isn’t out of the picture just yet.
It’s important not to get too carried away with phrases like HD or High Definition these days. Once upon a time these two little catch phrases were important and actually did convey important information as to the quality of a device. However, in a world where phones with under 5 inch screens now boast 720p HD displays it’s difficult to get too excited about the same thing being offered on a 9.7 inch tablet. Especially considering that the iPad and iPad 2 already have resolutions of 1024 x 768, which is similar to the traditional 1280 x 720 resolution of 720p HD displays.
Anything above 720p would, of course, be more than functional as a media screen. 1080p, often referred to quite inaccurately as “full-HD”, would obviously represent a higher quality of pixilation than a 720p display. But no matter what Apple comes out with we’re sure we’ll be fine with it, so long as it’s any kind of improvement. A retina screen would be great and 1080p would be nice, so we’re not too fussed on this issue.
The iPad 3 and LTE Connectivity
According to Bloomberg, some reliable sources have claimed that the iPad 2 will be LTE enabled. This is, once again, a rumor we saw back before the iPad 2 was released. It makes a bit more sense for Apple to release such a product now, after Verizon and AT&T have had a chance to expand their LTE networks further across the USA.
We’d actually be a little surprised if the iPad 3 doesn’t come with LTE support, at least in America. But as always with LTE it’s difficult to tell with a global product, as most countries are yet to make the leap from 3G to 4G LTE.
Quad-core CPU for the iPad 3
A quad-core upgrade for the iPad 3 would certainly be cool. The obvious next step from the current dual-core generation would be to double it once again and phone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung are already planning their own quad-core handsets because of this.
On the other hand, tablets traditionally aren’t used for too many processor-hungry purposes. Does the iPad 3 really need a quad-core CPU, or would that extra battery usage be better put towards an upgraded graphics processing unit (GPU) or a boost in RAM? Obviously we’d like to see both, but as we’ve mentioned before our experience with modern dual-core mobile devices has been that the largest lag-factor tends to be either software, RAM or GPU inefficiencies. It’s our hope that Apple chooses to address these issues before throwing in a quad-core CPU just because it looks better on advertizing posters.
That’s It For Now
That’s all we have for you at the moment. We’ll be sure to keep you all updated with more iPad 3 rumors and our take on them as they surface. In the meantime keep your eyes on this spot, as we’re sure to have more news in the near future.