updated 11:00 pm EST, Wed December 28, 2011
iPad 3 may have two 9.7in models and big battery
Two new rumors have suggested a major break for Apple's iPad 3 strategy if at all accurate. Tipsters for Digitimes ruled out the 7.85-inch mini iPad and instead pointed to two iPad 3 models: both would have the widely rumored 2048x1536, Sharp-made displays with dual-LED backlights. They would also have quad-core A6 processors and, supposedly, five- and eight-megapixel cameras made by Samsung and Sony respectively.
Dynapack and Simplo might also offer potential coup in battery technology. While one of the new iPads would still have the 6,500mAh battery of the iPad 2, a high-end version would have a massive 14,000mAh pack. If the estimates for battery life remained the same, it could last for roughly 20 hours.
The iPad 2 would stay to help diminish sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire in this view.
Significant doubt has been cased on the rumor by its event timing. Apple would supposedly unveil the devices on January 26 at "iWorld," almost two years to the day of the original iPad introduction. Apple doesn't give such names to events and rarely slips out firm dates relatively early. Rumors from other sources at the same site have put the actual ship date roughly in March, which would lead to an unusually long lead time. Apple isn't attending Macworld/iWorld and likely wouldn't time itself around that event.
Apple has rarely differentiated iOS devices from the current generation with anything other than capacity, again throwing the rumor into at least some uncertainty. The 2048x1536 display and A6 processor have been widely reported from multiple sources, however, and the display is supported by Apple's own art assets. A 14,000mAh battery would either require a noticeably heavier design or a major step forward in technology, either for the battery or for other techniques to lighten the rest of the tablet.