iPad 3 rumor round-up

The day is upon us. Today we will most likely witness the introduction of the third generation of the iPad. Many rumors have been flying around the Internet; some of them make sense, and some are just batshit crazy. When reporting on these rumors, we usually try to reality check them at once, but having them in one place before the event is nice, too. So to give you, our dear readers, an overview of the rumors that are out there and — in case of the more sane predictions — a glimpse of what actually might happen, here’s our iPad event rumor round-up and sanity check:

  • High resolution display: It’s widely expected that the next iPad will sport a 9.7-inch display with a resolution of 2048 px by 1536 px. This seems pretty likely, especially because scaling-up UI elements by a factor of 4x is less of a pain than having to deal with factors of 3x or 1.5x that would be necessary at resolutions other than the aforementioned. Grain of Salt Meter™ 1/5
  • Quad-core CPU: Whether it’ll be called A5X or A6, the rumor sites are certain that we’re going to see a new processor in the next iPad, with four cores and better graphics performance to power the Retina display. We’d be surprised if Apple didn’t equip the next iPad with a new processor. The iPad got the A4 (after that the iPhone 4 also got the A4). The iPad 2 got the A5 (a few months after that the iPhone 4S was treated with this processor, too). The continuation of this pattern seems logical, Captain. Grain of Salt Meter™ 1/5
  • iOS 5.1 release today: This next version has been in beta for quite some time and seems ripe for the picking, laden with smaller improvements and rich text editing in more of Apple’s own apps. A release during an iPad event is likely, and Apple has done things like this in the past.Grain of Salt Meter™ 1/5
  • iPad 2 to stick around: Some sites suggested that the iPad 2 might be here to stay after the new iPad is released. This wouldn’t be surprising. Apple has does this every time a new iPhone hits the market and even though they didn’t do it with the first iPad after the second one was released, discounting the iPad 2 to give people a cheaper option (call it gateway drug if you will) isn’t unreasonable or new. The education market surely wouldn’t mind cheaper iPad 2s. Grain of Salt Meter™ 1/5
  • Better camera: The next iPad might receive a better camera, if the rumors of purported bigger camera and lens elements are to be believed. Does the iPad need a better camera? Do people really use it for things other than video calls? All in all a small improvement of the camera or cameras doesn’t seem like too much of a hassle and the iPad 2’s camera really isn’t something to write home about. Maybe Apple will do something about this. Grain of Salt Meter™ 2/5
  • New Apple TV: Stocks of the current model have been constantly falling, leading to speculation about a refreshApple doesn’t like to steal the thunder of a newly announced device by introducing many other things at the same time, but Apple understands the Apple TV not only as a standalone device, but also as an accessory to its iOS and OS X devices, the “wireless gateway to the living room” so to speak. A short heads-up on improved hardware, new software and 1080p capabilities wouldn’t surprise us. Grain of Salt Meter™ 2/5
  • Form factor: Some sites reported the new case to be thicker, others that it’ll be just as thick as the iPad 2’s. What all seem to agree upon is that it’ll look almost like the iPad 2, making it harder for hipsters to brag with their new gadget. Would a new form factor make sense? If everything fits well into the current casing, it’d make almost no sense for Apple to rebuild it. On the other hand, a higher-resolution display would need more energy, warranting a case change to accommodate a bigger battery. Grain of Salt Meter™ 3/5
  • Name: ‘iPad 3’ or ‘iPad HD’, that is the question (one very great podcast even suggested the name ‘iPad Be Careful’, but that probably won’t happen). Another possibility would be ‘iPad 2S’ especially if the new iPad will only receive “minor” improvements. While ‘iPad 3’ would make perfect sense mathematically, iPad HD might resonate more with regular consumers, communicating the higher resolution better, even though the purported Retina display would have a resolution greater than 1080p. Grain of Salt Meter™ 3/5
  • 4G LTE chipsets: This one has been repeated over and over again then retracted. No one seems to be sure if Apple will add the new wireless standard to the iPad just now. Apple could do this. It’s unlikely they will, as the company has stated multiple times that the technology is still too bulky and too power hungry. Add to that the fact that it isn’t nearly as widespread as carriers and Android device makers would have us think. Grain of Salt Meter™ 4/5
  • Pricing: “The new iPad will be more expensive!” — “No it won’t be!” A price hike of $ 80 for all new models? On the one hand this would be understandable if most of the rumors come true and the next iPad will feature heavily upgraded innards, but Apple’s modus operandi has always been to keep the price steady, improving the hardware and discounting past models. Grain of Salt Meter™ 4/5
  • OMG! iOS 6: There are reports of devices at Apple already running iOS 6, which leads some to believe that we’ll see some news about the next major OS today? Of course Apple is already testing iOS 6 internally. Does this mean we’ll get an early preview today? Difficult to say. OSs are usually presented at WWDC in summer, but with Apple taking OS X to a yearly release cycle (which iOS is already at), a preliminary glimpse might not be out of the question. Then again, Apple’s events are usually very focused and too many smaller announcements could divert attention from the star of today’s event. Grain of Salt Meter™ 4/5
  • Storage: Apple will add an 8 GB iPad and will drop the 64 GB iPad. The 8 GB model will supposedly be aimed at the education market and according to sources in the supply chain (how we love those, not), Apple doesn’t deem the 64 GB version necessary. Oh boy. 8 GB of storage is too small to accommodate many apps, especially good, interactive educational apps and a maximum of 32 GB is just great if you want to take a few 1080p movies with you. Oh wait, no it isn’t. Grain of Salt Meter™ 5/5
  • 7-inch iPad: Everybody’s doing 7-inch tablets so Apple simply has to, right? RIGHT? No. A smaller iPad has surely been built by Apple and tried extensively, but the 10-inch form factor seems to work just fine. A smaller iPad with the same resolution of 1024px by 768 px would require significant changes to the UI of applications to account for the smaller tappable area on the device, which would only promote fragmentation and confusion (Hi there, Android!). Grain of Salt Meter™ 5/5
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Photo Credit: SoraZG
Besides his current full-time job as a student of Sinology and Marketing at the University of Trier, Germany, Alex likes to read about technology and the businesses behind it. He also has a personal blog.