Noticeable improvements in photo, video, graphics
A pair of Asian websites that have gotten mysteriously early access to the as-yet-unavailable third-generation iPad have been busy testing the devices, reporting on the improved camera, graphics systems and RAM capacity of the new machine while also confirming that the A5X processor has the same clock speed as the previous model. The improved graphics processor, however, more than makes up for this, tests show.
Tech could already be in next-gen iPad
Liquidmetal is in the process of shipping commercial parts to "several of its customers world-wide," according to a press release. The customers are unidentified, but Liquidmetal says that it in fact began delivering parts in December, and has more shipments scheduled into the future. Production capabilities should ramp up over coming months.
Company refuses to confirm or deny feature
The new iPad being announced later today could have haptic feedback, Pocket-lint sources claim. Apple has allegedly been in talks with a Finnish company, Senseg, the creators of a technology called E-Sense. Unlike normal haptic feedback methods, the one Apple is reportedly using would put an electrical pulse behind every pixel, adding "texture" to onscreen objects.
Gear should be backwards-compatible with iPad 2
While accessory makers have prepared new products for the next-generation iPad, most or all of these should work with the iPad 2, CNET reports. The site says it has heard from three company representatives who all say they expect the new iPad to have only minor changes in thickness, even if they're not absolutely certain. "We've been told there will be some minor changes in the thickness, but we don't have any specifics," one representative states.
Dispells adoption rumors
Apple will announce an LTE-equipped iPad tomorrow, a Reuters source says. The person is described only as "familiar with the product," but their statement reinforces other claims that an LTE model is in the cards. Some speculation has held that it might be too early for Apple to introduce LTE devices, particularly as AT&T's LTE network is newer and smaller than Verizon's.
No reason given, though iPad a factor
After running an experimental "pop-up" store in Austin during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival last year, Apple has confirmed that it will not be participating this year. No reason was given, but the timing of the anticipated iPad 3 release may have played a role. Last year, the pop-up store appeared more than a week after the release of the iPad 2, but this year the iPad 3 will be announced just two days before the festival, and may not be immediately available.
New case would return to covering back
Apple has been working on a new official iPad case, an iLounge source says. The product is described as similar to Incase's Magazine Jacket, but with an iPad 2-style Smart Cover on the front. A rear shell meanwhile is said to be made of fiberglass, and covered with polyurethane or bicast leather. A major complaint about the Smart Cover has been that unlike the official case for the iPad 1, the Smart Cover leaves the back metal of an iPad completely vulnerable.
Shipments allegedly occurring in bulk
Sealed boxes of iPad 3 cases are starting to show up at Best Buy stores, a source claims. Each box is noted to have a sticker with a warning: "Do not display until official iPad 3 launch." This may suggest that "iPad 3" is the next-generation iPad's official name, but it could alternately be a placeholder.
iOS 6 unlikely to debut until summer or fall
iPads with 2048x1536 displays and/or unreleased versions of iOS are appearing in server logs, Ars Technica remarks. In February the website saw 346 visits from a device with a 2048x1536 screen, which is believed to be the iPad 3 based on numerous reports and the rarity of such a resolution. Tracking iPads in use from Apple's corporate IP block in Cupertino, meanwhile, Ars says it has encountered devices running not only iOS 5.0, 5.0.1, or the developer-only 5.1, but even an unannounced iOS 6.
Highland Village to open one day earlier
The planned opening of a new Houston Apple Store may indicate a launch date for the iPad 3, the Houston Chronicle reports. Apple is on the verge of opening a new outlet in the Highland Village shopping center. A source connected to the store's opening says that the outlet was originally supposed to debut in January, and later March 17th. Just a few weeks ago, though, the date was allegedly adjusted to March 16th.
Allays speculation about Apple press invite
A site called RepairLabs says it has managed to obtain digitzer parts for the iPad 3. The digitzer is essentially the front panel, including the touchscreen and the front glass. Photos appear to confirm that the iPad 3 will come in black and white tones, and continue to use a traditional Home button. Based on the invite to Apple's March 7th press event, some speculation existed that Apple was somehow eliminating the button.
Excite 10 LE to be thinnest and lightest tablet
Toshiba just revealed it will ship the thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet on March 6, which, not likely coincidentally, is one day ahead of the iPad 3 launch. Previously dubbed as the Excite X10, the tablet touts a 7.7mm (0.3-inch) thickness and weigh 535 grams (1.18lbs), while sporting a 10.1-inch, LED-backlit touchscreen with a 1280x800 resolution. Depending on the iPad 3's girth and ship dates, Toshiba may only enjoy the thinnest and lightest claims for a short time, perhaps a matter of days.
Still thinner than iPad 1
A new photo depicts the iPad 3's shell as being 0.81mm thicker than that of the iPad 2, according to Apple.pro. In the image, both tablets are being measured using digital calipers. The iPad 2 registers at 8.69mm, while the iPad 3 is a straight 9.5mm. Apple's official specifications list the iPad 2's thickness as 8.8mm.
Invitation reveals higher-res display
Apple has announced the date of a long-anticipated press event for the next-generation iPad. Media invitations point to an event taking place on March 7th, at 10AM Pacific time. It will be hosted in a favorite Apple venue, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Could herald long-demanded 1080p support
A new Apple TV will launch alongside the iPad 3 in March, according to sources for 9to5Mac. The device is thought to have the J33 codename, but no other details have been verified. Earlier rumors, though, have revolved around support for 1080p video, a feature people have demanded since the first generation debuted in 2007. For this Apple may need to upgrade the Apple TV with an A5 processor, possibly the rumored A5X. Apple could conceivably use the introduction of a new Apple TV to simultaneously bring 1080p videos to the iTunes Store; currently, even HD files are capped at 720p.
Knocks $50 off all iPad models in stock
Ahead of strong indications of an imminent iPad 3 announcement, Best Buy has dropped the price of the iPad 2. The electronics retailer has knocked $50 off of every iPad 2 in stock. Such discounts are rare, suggesting a link with the iPad 3.
Stock continues rising on iPad 3 speculation
The allegedly-imminent release of the iPad 3 and strong prospects for future products and refreshes throughout the year are keeping Apple's stock steadily rising, with the company hitting yet another all-time record high at the close of the week, moving above $520 for the first time to close at $522.41 and the end of business Friday, though the stock is down to just over $522 in after-hours trading.
Date consistent with reported US timetable
The iPad 3 will ship to Germany on March 23rd, local news site iFun.de claims to have learned. The assertion challenges ones made elsewhere that the country would only get the tablet in April. A March 23rd date would be roughly consistent with recent reports suggesting a product reveal in the first full week of March, followed by a launch in the US and/or several other countries mid-month.
Tablet widely expected to premiere in March
Photos from the Chinese-language website Weibo appear to depict the front panel display and digitizer assembly for an iPad 3, notes Apple.pro. The hardware is said to be similar to that for the iPad 3, but with the distinction of a ribbon cable extending up the side of the display. In the iPad 2, an equivalent cable is said to be shorter, with a different orientation.
Samsung may use Chinese firm to make iPad 3 LCDs
An atypical leak on Sunday saw the the manufacturing roots of the reported iPad 3's display more than the displays themselves. With the 2048x1536 resolution already identified, a WePost.me forum contribution showed what's claimed to be shots from contractor Radiant Opto-Electronics' plant as it shipped a batch of the new screens. Although located in Wujiang, near Shanghai, the displays are labeled and boxed as Samsung displays that are reportedly shipped to Samsung in Korea before they reach Apple.
iPad 3's chip may be upgraded A5 instead
An apparent discovery Sunday has shown what's purported as the iPad 3's mainboard with an unexpected A5X, not A6, processor name. The WeiPhone details don't directly indicate what this would imply, but they imply more of an evolution than a major overhaul. A date code on top suggests it was made in 2011 week 46, or about November 14-20 and the timeframe when iPad 3 production may have started.
Influx of parts may suggest iPad 3 in production
A parts reseller, Eye Lab Factory, has managed to obtain what could be a display panel for the iPad 3, says Macotakara. The part measures about 9.7 inches, and uses a flat cable similar to that connecting the iPad 2's display. It also reportedly supports resolutions up to 2048x1536, the level most commonly anticipated for the iPad 3.
Thickness may remain identical to iPad 2
Housing for the iPad 3 suggests a few differences with the frame for the iPad 2, according to RepairLabs. Sources in China have allegedly gained access to the newer part, which, for instance, is said to show different mounts for the logic board. This should allow more space for a battery, potentially increasing battery life, or at least keeping it the same.
Number may prove 'conservative'
Apple should ship 48 million or more iPads in the calendar 2012 year, according to estimates from Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. The catalyst will allegedly be the iPad 3, predicted to be a "significant refresh" that should "help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazonís Kindle Fire, and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there," according to Wu. He in fact suggests that the 48 million number "could turn out conservative."
Would differ with iPad 2 launch timeframe
The iPad 3 and/or iOS 5.1 will be announced in early February, claims Macotakara. The Japanese website quotes sources in the US and the Asian supply chain. An actual launch is anticipated in early March, which would be roughly consistent with when the iPad 2 shipped, on March 11th of last year.
Sources back minimal cosmetic differences
Two manufacturers in the Apple supply chain, Foxconn and Pegatron, have been asked to start assembling next-generation iPads for launch in early March, says Macotakara. The Japanese site claims to have learned the information from Chinese sources, who add that the hardware should look almost identical to the iPad 2. This includes button arrangements, the dock connector, and the positioning of the front- and rear-facing cameras.
External changes minimal, account hints
On the outside, changes to the iPad 3 may be minimal, suggests iLounge. Site editor Jeremy Horwitz says that yesterday he was shown an alleged prototype of the new tablet at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The hardware is described as "roughly 1mm" thicker than the iPad 2, which Horwitz adds that he's heard will cause no problems for accessories except those precisely tailored to the iPad 2's back. Buttons, switches and ports are otherwise said to be identical.
No new connection type planned, images suggest
Japanese website Macotakara says it has managed to obtain more parts allegedly built for the iPad 3. These include a microphone flex cable ribbon, a power on/off flex cable, and a dock connector port. The parts were ordered from a site called TVC-Mall.com, which earlier in December was discovered selling the mic cable.
Kindle Fire trumps iPhone 4S
Three Apple-related search terms have placed among the fastest rising in Google's Zeitgeist charts for 2011. The annual effort catalogs the popularity of various searches, as well as broad trends. The fastest-rising Apple search term in the top 10 overall was "iPhone 5," coming in at number six. "Steve Jobs" was ninth, while "iPad2" closed out the 10 leaders.
Date would be month ahead of usual forecasts
The next-generation iPad will launch in February, says Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner. The analyst cites "several sources" on the matter, who back up the notion that it will have twice the screen resolution of its predecessor. Gardner comments that "there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining" to producing the extremely high-resolution display.
Size could be necessary for new tech
The iPad 3 will be thicker, claim "Asian intelligence sources" cited by Macotakara. The change will allegedly render cases fitting the back of an iPad 2 useless. The front of the 3 is expected to remain largely the same though according to a parts supplier, to the extent that Smart Covers made for the iPad 2 will still function.
Tablet may be set for early 2012 release
Code strings in iOS 5 support the existence of the "J2" model iPad 3 claimed by Digitimes, according to 9to5Mac. The device is listed alongside familiar codenames for other Apple devices such as the iPhone 4. Apple has allegedly been considering two different designs as a successor to the iPad 2, the J2 being a more advanced device than the J1, also using different dimensions. The iOS 5 code also groups the J2 alongside other 3G-capable hardware.
High-res confirmed, 7-inch a possibility too
An analyst has confirmed
that the QXGA 2048x1536 9.7-inch iPad 3 display is in production, according to CNET. Richard Shim of DisplaySearch also said, as previously rumored, that Apple is taking shipments from Samsung, Sharp and LG to ensure sufficient production yield for a planned early 2012 launch. Also in the cards is the possibility of the rumored 7-inch iPad mini.
Added iPad might be cheaper, not smaller
Research points to a new, cheaper iPad coming in "the first few months" of 2012, according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. The claim is based on White's meetings with Apple suppliers while on a visit to China. The device, nicknamed the "iPad mini," would allegedly expand the reach of the iPad by making it accessible to people who can't justify the normal $499 barrier to entry.
Analyst sees Amazon tablet as first real threat
iPad 3 prototypes are already circulating in the Apple supply chain, but no new tablet should be expected to launch until 2012, says JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz. For some time rumors had persisted that Apple would release some sort of updated iPad in the fall, whether a minor or a major upgrade. Those claims have essentially been silenced in recent weeks, as none of the expected evidence for an imminent iPad update has appeared.
Supplier prepping for 28nm chip production
TSMC will be ready to mass-produce 28nm chips beginning in early 2012, says the supplier's research and development head, Shang-yi Chiang. Chiang elaborates that the company has already received enough orders to fully exploit its new 28nm capacity. At least some of the orders are likely to be for a next-generation Apple processor, the A6.