AzoftSpotlight20 Rumors about iPad 3

20 Rumors about iPad 3

By Alexandra Weinstein on May 12, 2011

The blogosphere was buzzing yesterday with rumors that an iPad 3 might be on the way in September. That's right, the iPad 2 hasn't officially been announced (though it is reported to be in production), and already people are talking about an iPad 3.

Apple’s second-generation tablet is barely out of its pristinely white box but talk of the iPad 3 is already brewing which will no doubt already have tongues wagging on what the Cupertino company has in store for the next Apple tablet.

With all the iPad 3 news; some Apple fans were questioning whether or not they should hold off on their purchase of the ipad 2, and wait for the iPad 3.  Especially after an unnamed Apple insider stated that the iPad 3 was going to be worth the wait. The iPad 3 is being claimed as a revolution rather than an evolution like the iPad 2; since a lot of features were not released due to complications behind the scenes.

As the Android tablet army continues to swell, anticipation of how Apple will stay ahead of the game will be of interest to more than just the faithful fanboys.

So, from the 'reliable sources' to interesting patents going up for FCC approval, we piece together how the iPad 3 could take shape.

Retina display

We thought it would arrive on the iPad 2, but unfortunately it didn't. So will we see an iPad 3 with a Retina display? The latest analysts reports suggest that the iPad3 spec will be missing from the third generation Apple tablet as well. It may not follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch as many perhaps hope, but Digital Trends suggests the display qualities will still improve commenting that, “Apple is speculated to be considering using an AMOLED panel or Full HD resolution support for the coming tablet.”


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Less reflective screen

Given Apple's obsession with turning its displays into mirrors, we ultimately think it's pretty unlikely the iPad 3 screen will change a great deal in terms of reflectiveness; however, a less reflective screen would be a great addition – at least as a build-to-order option – and boost the device's use outside and in brightly lit rooms.

USB, HDMI, and SD card

So far Apple has steered away from adding any other port to the iPad then the dock connector itself, relying on external accessories to deliver the likes of HDMI playback and camera connection kit (all at additional cost to the user). However, there are many customers out there that is waiting for Apple to deliver commonly used connection capabilities like these before considering getting an iPad.

Although Apple is focusing on wireless syncing and transfer technology, not everyone out there is familiar or comfortable with that yet, and not all other technology is geared up to delivering in the same way. So it would be nice if Apple added SD card slot, USB connection, and HDMI to the iPad 3, or at least some of it.

Of course we can never rule out that other technologies come around that will replace the need for the above.

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Cross platform compatibility

We all know Apple loves bringing their own solutions and services instead of relying on commonly used technology, such as with Apple Airplay and Apple TV. There is deep commercial thinking behind that as it forces consumers to get more of their technology and to upgrade old equipment more often.

But as consumers it would be nice to be able to use more of the non-Apple technology that most of us have alongside the iPad, such as streaming to devices that support streaming on a different platform than Apple AirPlay, using the more common DLNA standard.

Stereo speakers

For games, music and video, the iPad's screen is great. A Retina display could improve things further, but the audio experience will remain below par with the iPad's rather poor internal speaker. Adding a second speaker to the iPad 3 for stereo sound would greatly benefit media playback.

Glasses-free 3D display

It may not be on the top of the features list for most iPad users, but after French researchers found a way to create a 3D display without any other additional hardware, an iPad 3 3D model may not sound so ludicrous. Apple has yet to embrace the resurgent visual format, and as the video below suggests it may not be so far away as many think. 

Storage upgrade

With it being very likely that Apple will at some point in the future deliver a cloud service one can discuss in length the need for increased memory for the Apple iPad. Currently available at a max of 64gb, for most people that is sufficient. But as flash storage technology improves and prices come down it is likely that Apple will offer an upgrade to 128gb with the next model to satisfy the most media-hungry amongst us.

The iPad 3 could feature a carbon fibre case

Apple has hired a carbon fibre expert, senior composites engineer Kevin Kenney, fuelling speculation that the next iPad could be encased in the lightweight material.

Near field communication

Apple's reportedly been experimenting with near field communication (NFC) for a while, with rumours suggesting the iPhone 5's big new feature will be a digital wallet. It would also make sense for the iPad 3 to embrace this technology – while relatively few users may want to use an iPad to make payments, plenty of companies could use one to receive them, turning the device into a digital cash register. Other applications for this technology include ticketing and office access.

iOS 5

When the iPad 3 rears its tablet-shaped head, we anticipate it will come packing iOS 5, the next key Apple software update. iOS 5 it seems will likely be released in the summer, at the same time as the iPhone 5 is expected to arrive. That means we can expect to see it some time in June, when Apple holds its annual WWDC event in San Francisco. An updated version of MobileMe could be a pick of the features which is said to include digital locker skills, music and video streaming over the cloud and a new personal web space for each use.


So called next generation iPad cases have indicated the possibility of a wide-range speaker (covered with wire mesh) to improve the sound quality.

Make 3G standard

This one's a bit of a stretch, but some kind of optional 'always online' functionality could give the iPad 3 a serious boost, and stop people from avoiding purchases because they're afraid of making a mistake regarding choosing between a Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G model.

Apple presumably sees 3G functionality as a hugely profitable 'add on', with parts reportedly costing as little as $30 adding $130 to the price-tag. With much of Apple's competition going 3G-only, Apple could do the same and yet still come in both cheaper and at a higher quality point.

Improved camera and flash

When the first iPad was announced we all complained (well most of us) that there was no camera. For the iPad 2 Apple delivered the important front facing camera for facetime and video conferencing etc. as well as a rather crappy camera at the back, like the one on the iPod Touch 4, and not like the good one on the iPhone 4.

For the iPad 3 we hope that Apple  will bring better quality camera and flash, so that should you choose to take still photos with your iPad at least they will be decent quality.

The iPad 3 may live in the cloud

This has been talked about and leaked about for so long that, on the same principle that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, it's bound to come true eventually: a cloud-based MobileMe for storing your stuff on Apple's servers. A new iPad with iOS 5 and a new MobileMe would be lots of fun.

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Thundebolt port

A USB port has been notably absent from the iPad and iPad 2, but with the introduction of Intel's Thunderbolt technology to the latest range of Apple MacBook Pro laptops, the fast peripheral input/output technology could be a more likely addition.

Thunderbolt which possesses a 10Gbps (or 1.25GBps) speed, and can support high-resolution displays, basically means you can transfer a full-length HD movie in about 30 seconds, and a year’s worth of 196kbps MP3s in around ten minutes. Apple has worked closely with Intel on the development of the technology which is likely to be rolled out to other Apple devices, with future iPads a possible beneficiary.

The iPad 3 specs include a dual-core processor

It's possible that the iPad 3 will have a brand spanking new processor, Apple's A6, but if the rumoured release date is correct then time is awfully tight: we'd certainly expect to see an A5, not an A6, in the iPhone 5 when it turns up this summer.

Apple may well surprise us, of course, but we'd expect to see the same processor and graphics as the iPad 2 in the iPad 3: an A5 processor with PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics. This one comes down to the iPad 3 release date: if it's 2011, expect an A5. If it's 2012, expect a faster A6.


Patently Apple has discovered a patent filed by Apple in 2009.  The patent suggests that the feature “spaces” which is currently used on Apple desktops, will be seen on the iPad 3.

Spaces allows users to have up to sixteen virtual desktops on one screen, with its default set at four.  Having the ability to move amongst screens while different programs are running on each greatly increases productivity.

Relating to our recent article about iPads in the workplace; this would be an excellent integration into the iPad 3 as iPads are continually adopted into the business world.

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3D screen and size options

Since this is a dreamlist for the iPad 3, and not all has to be realistic, we thought we would add in a few more optional features. Perhaps the iPad in the future will actually come with more options than just storage versions and 3G vs wi-fi only. Perhaps for the iPad 3 or future models you can get options with:

  • Glasses free 3D screen

  • Size options with perhaps a smaller 6 or 7-inch version of the current iPad. There are already plenty of rumors about the possible iPad Mini perhaps replacing the iPod Touch 5.

iPad 3 price

The 16GB Wi-Fi model of the iPad 2 was a suprisingly reasonable £399 with prices continuing up all the way to £659 for the 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G edition. If an iPad 2 successor were to land before the end of the 2011, we imagine that the iPad 3 price will stick closely to the price range for the current model, which has so far proved successful if the speculate iPad 2 sales figures are anything to go by. 

iPad 3 release date

An unnamed source connected to the Wall Street Journal has announced that the iPad 3 is now due to be released in the early months of 2012.

Some analysts report that the iPad 3 (sometimes called the iPad 2+) was set to be released in time for the Christmas rush (otherwise known as very soon) but exact dates were unknown as of then. Recent reports (by someone we expect is an Apple employee), however, have now given the time of manufacture as being October and the official release as being in the early months of 2012.

This release date would fit in smoothly with previous release dates of the iPads 1 and 2. The first being released in April and the latter having a release month of March so a date between January and March – let’s say February – makes sense.

Taiwanese reporters, however, have contradicted this by claiming that the new model will be released in late autumn/early winter time.

iOS is also expected to be released this Autumn with the iPhone 5 coming in September or October. Will the iPad 3 debut with it? Who knows? Patience is a virtue, as they say.