Apple iPad 3 - Specs, Release Date Rumor Round-up! Everything We Know So Far!

Apple iPad 3 is coming soon -- according to CNBC's insider, at least.

Quoting the site,

The iPad3 will be released in February [2012] with a high-resolution screen, a new selling point for the entertainment and productivity device that will drive Apple shares up 27 percent to $500 in 12 months [...] iPad2's current display is 132 pixels per inch. A doubling of that resolution would put it well ahead of the current displays [of other tablets].

iPad3's display resolution will be twice that of iPad2?!

Now, I know what's in your mind: "Finally, Retina Display on the iPad!"

But here's the thing, there are insider reports stating that there's a shortage of Retina Display coming from Apple's current display suppliers, LG and Samsung. And, as if reinforcing this claim, Forbes recently posted a story about Apple's hunt for a new display supplier, which ended with Sharp.

According to Forbes, "Apple and Sharp together have a modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to achieve 330 dpi, which is sufficient for an HD display while not using IPS nor having to include dual-bar LED backlighting. In our view, this should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved." So will Apple call this new screen 'Retina Display' still? That remains to be seen.

Aside from display details, here are rumors and speculations on other specs of the tablet:

1. Last November, Korea Times reported that iPad3 will run on the new Apple A6 processor, which - interestingly enough - will be manufactured by Samsung despite on-going legal battles with Apple. Some tech bloggers are saying that A6 will be a dual-core processor with just a slightly faster clock speed than Apple A5.

2. Just a few days back, CNET hinted that iPad3 will support LTE connectivity via its Qualcomm 4G LTE Gobi 4000 chip. For those who are not yet familiar with LTE, it's the latest in radio platform technology allowing operators to deliver speeds of up to a whopping 100 Mbits/second -- far-higher than what subscribers can get from even HSPA+. (TP Thoughts: This should be interesting for Smart Communications since the company has just announced its super-fast LTE technology, which will be publicly available soon. Smart iPad3-LTE bundles, anyone?!)

3. Photos of iPad3 parts leaked via TheiPadGuide show that the new tablet will have a smaller dock connector compared to its two predecessors. I'm not so sure about this though.

4. Some tech bloggers are speculating that both iPhone5 and iPad3 will come with NFC support. For those who aren't familiar with this technology, NFC allows to devices to connect and interact with each other simply by tapping. There are already smartphones and other devices out in the market that has an NFC chip so Apple is already playing catch-up in this department.

5. Likewise, there are some tech-bloggers who are reporting that the next-generation iPad will come with a higher resolution camera, 128GB of storage for one variant, a ThunderBolt port, a new light-weight carbon fiber enclosure and a microSD card slot, finally. Aside from the camera improvement, the other features mentioned don't seem likely, I think.

Note that all these are but rumors and speculations and that, at the end of the day, only Apple knows for sure how iPad3 looks like and what its technical specs exactly are.

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