A week from today, we’ll know everything there is to know about Apple’s next generation iPad. Unlike the build-up to the iPhone 4S’ launch, it seems like everyone’s expectations are pretty much in line with what Apple will announce. There might even be a surprise or two.
But we’re impatient. There’s $500 burning a hole in our pocket and we want to spend it on Apple’s shiny new iThing.
Before we do though, here’s what we want to know:
What’s so special about this fancy screen we keep hearing about?
It’s all but confirmed that the iPad 3’s biggest upgrade will be its new high-resolution display. MacRumors recently got its hands on what it says is an iPad 3 display. The display is said to have at least twice the resolution as the iPad and iPad 2. That will be very close to the resolution of the iPhone’s Retina display. Based on the sneak peek we got in Apple’s iPad announcement invitation, the display is going to be very pretty.
What will it be called?
iPad 3? iPad HD? iPad Retina? We’re dying to know.
Will the processor be as fast as everyone thinks it’ll be?
At first, everyone assumed Apple would include a new, next-generation processor in the iPad 3. This time around it’d be a quad-core “A6” chip, the sequel to the current dual-core “A5” that powers the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. But the latest rumours say the iPad 3 will get an “A5x” chip, which will still be dual-core and be slightly faster. Either way, the iPad 3 is going to get a nice speed boost.
How much will it cost?
It’s almost a guarantee that the iPad 3 will have the same pricing structure as the other iPad models. That means it’ll start at $500 for the 16 GB, Wi-Fi only version. There have been some rumours that the iPad 3 will end up costing more, but that seems highly unlikely.
Will the iPad 2 stick around at a cheaper price?
With the Kindle Fire offering up modest competition, many think the iPad 2 will stick around for another year at a discount. Apple already uses this strategy with the iPhone, selling last year’s model for $100 cheaper than the current model. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the iPad 2 start selling for $350 or $400 once the iPad 3 launches. But then again, Apple is so far ahead in the tablet market, it may not think it needs to sell a cheaper tablet.
Will the iPad 3 really be thicker than the iPad 2?
By most accounts, the iPad 3 will likely be nearly identical to the iPad 2. It may even be a bit thicker to make room for a bigger battery, 4G chip, and parts for the high-resolution screen.
What about Sprint?
Now that Sprint carries the iPhone, will it have the honour of selling the iPad too? It doesn’t look promising so far. The iPad 3 is rumoured to be a 4G LTE device, a wireless standard only offered by AT&T and Verizon . Sprint’s “4G” network is on a different standard and likely won’t be compatible with the iPad 3.
It’s even less likely that T-Mobile will get a version of the iPad. Just like Sprint, it’s “4G” network doesn’t run on the LTE standard.
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