updated 11:05 pm EST, Mon February 13, 2012
iPad 3 should get multi-carrier launch
Fresh details leaked Monday have an LTE iPad 3 shipping for at least two US carriers. AT&T and Verizon would both sell the tablet at 4G speeds, the Wall Street Journal said. Whether or not Sprint's upcoming LTE network wasn't mentioned, but the hardware would have the expected fallback to 3G in areas where LTE wasn't available.
The tip backed up beliefs that the launch would happen in the first week of March. More tangible leaks have referred to March 7 as the specific day, with March 16 as the most probable in-store date.
LTE has a number of implications for Apple's developments in 2012. Apple has been waiting on a long-promised Qualcomm cellular chip that would merge 3G and 4G, giving Apple the reasonable battery life and world roaming it wants. By extension, it would show Apple ready to bring LTE to the next-generation iPhone given a history of iPad technology filtering down to its smaller counterpart months later.
Still open is whether or not international providers like the top three Canadian networks, Japan's NTT DoCoMo, or Korean carriers would have the same access. Most use frequencies other than the 700MHz band used in the US and might not get support early on.