Among the many iPad rumors that have made the rounds in recent months was the suggestion that Apple would unveil its next iPad on Steve Jobs's birthday. As a result, we can cross that off our list, but like every iProduct release cycle, other rumors abound.
From retina displays and new chipsets to smaller iPads and better cameras, nothing is off limits when it comes to speculation about the next iPad. PCMag Editor-in-Chief Dan Costa has already weighed in with a list of things he doesn't need in the new iPad, but let's take a look at some of our options.
First up, when is this thing actually coming? We can likely put to rest last year's rumors about a February announcement. Apple usually holds its launch events on a Tuesday or Wednesday, which is cutting it a bit close for Feb. 28 or 29. Much of the mobile tech press, meanwhile, will be in Barcelona next week for Mobile World Congress.
A more likely scenario is the rumored March 7 press event, with a public launch on March 9 or a subsequent Friday. That's in line with an earlier report from All Things D, which has received accurate information about Apple events in the past.
So, assuming we're going to hear about Apple's next "magical" and "revolutionary" tablet on or around March 7, what will Apple be showing off onstage?
One of the most recent rumors touched on the tablet's chipset. As reported by MacRumors, the forum for Chinese website WeiPhone included a post with a photo of the next-gen iPad's logic board. The system-on-a-chip was labeled "A5X" and appeared to have been produced in November 2011.
A much-requested feature, meanwhile, is a boost for the iPad's screen to the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and 4S. MacRumors also recently reported that the new iPad has twice the pixels as the displays for the original iPad and iPad 2. IFixit's Kyle Wiens, meanwhile, said the next iPad might not fit the technical definition of Retina Display, but would come close.
That retina display might be easier to accomplish if Apple adopted a smaller form factor. Jobs was not exactly a fan of 7-inch tablets, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from predicting a second, 8-inch iPad.
How about a speed boost? The Wall Street Journal, which reported on the 8-inch iPad, also said the new iPads might support 4G. Thus far, Apple's iOS devices have remained on 3G. For the iPhone, that was reportedly an aesthetic choice; 4G radios would bulk up the smartphone and Apple didn't want to alter its design. Engineers have a bit more room to work with when it comes to the iPad, however, so stay tuned.
That extra space, however, might be eaten up by a better camera. Asian parts reseller iLab Factory said earlier this month that iPad 3 components suggest a slightly thicker tablet to make room for the souped-up camera found in iPhone 4S. IFixit's Wiens also predicted an improved camera.
On the app front, meanwhile, The Daily said that Microsoft was prepping a version of Office for the iPad. Microsoft initially said the story was "inaccurate" but later switched to saying "no comment," so it's anyone's guess.
Regardless of what's in the device, it seems that people are eager to snap them up. Forty-eight percent of respondents to a recent online survey said they will buy an iPad 3, even those with the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Copyright © 2010 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc.