updated 07:05 pm EST, Fri March 2, 2012
iPad 3 to up features while keeping prices
Rumors that the iPad 3 might get a price hike were theoretically debunked in a form of counter-rumor on Friday. Prices are expected by a familiar 9to5 source to be the same as they are for the iPad 2 despite the anticipated 2048x1536 screen, faster processor, and upgraded camera. Talk of cutting off a 64GB model and possibly adding an 8GB iPad 2 were tossed aside as well, with at least the iPad 3 still sitting at the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities of today.
The strategy, if true, would have Apple shipping the same capacities of iPad for a total of three years and at prices between $499 and $829 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version through to a 64GB cellular edition. The technology behind the new iPad may make it less practical to increase the capacity. Along with the display, which will be the first truly high-density tablet display actually shipping to customers, Apple is expected to have a new processor and possibly more RAM to accommodate the much larger visuals. Cellular versions may adopt LTE.
The costs could put the squeeze on Android manufacturers that have had trouble competing with Apple on price for similar features. Acer has yet to price out its Iconia Tab A700, whose features will compete closely with the next iPad, but 3G and 4G Android tablets have almost always been more expensive than their iPad equivalents. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE on Verizon, despite its smaller screen, only costs less than a cellular iPad through a two-year contract and is $70 more expensive without.