updated 10:52 am EDT, Tue October 30, 2012
New iPads still expected to ship in one week
Stock of the fourth-generation iPad has evaporated at Apple's online store. All colors, capacities, and wireless combinations are no longer available for delivery on Friday, the tablet's official launch date. They are, however, still set to ship within a week, indicating that Apple should have a reasonable supply at hand.
A benchmark discovered through Primate Labs' Geekbench site meanwhile appears to reveal specifications of the new iPad's A6X processor. An "iPad3,4" device is identified as having a 1.39GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. While the chipset still uses quad-core graphics, it appears to have improved graphics technology, giving it better performance scores than the iPhone 5, which in turn is almost twice as fast as the third-gen iPad.
Apple has never before made major updates to the flagship iPad outside of March or April. That may raise the question of what the company intends to do next year. One hint could come from a rumored investment in carbon fiber, which might be turned to addressing a long-standing complaint and making the iPad much lighter.