updated 12:00 pm EST, Wed February 1, 2012
iPad 3 uses new Samsung-built chip and two models
A code delve by an insider claiming to BGR to have access to an iPad 3 prototype may have supported some of the previously mentioned but not always corroborated rumors. Using what appears to be an internal Apple tool known as iBoot, the source showed a new S5L8945X processor that appeared to support quad-core references in iOS 5.1. The existing A4 and A5 processors are the S5L8930X and S5L8940X respectively, both of which will have been assembled by Samsung.
Also in place are references to J1 and J2 models. Contrary to some claims of genuinely different iPads, the two would just be the Wi-Fi only (J1) and cellular (J2) versions. The pair are referenced as iPad 3,1 and 3,2 in Apple's device IDs, and the J2 is expected to include HSPA and EVDO for 3G as well as LTE-based 4G.
Both details would support commonly circulating rumors and would show Apple establishing a pattern for iPad launches, where it upgrades the processor once a year and maintains a narrow model spectrum where just one cellular iPad can cover many countries.
A release is rumored for March but hasn't been solidified through other sources.