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Ipad 3 Rumors

March 5, 2012 by staff 

Ipad 3 Rumors, Apple’s special media event—one that many believe to be for the next-generation iPad—is now mere days away. By this time next week, we’ll know once and for all how many of those pesky pre-event rumors were true and which ones were made up by “optimistic” sources.

Because there are so many elements to consider for the as-yet-unannounced iPad, which is colloquially being referred to as the “iPad 3,” we thought we’d round them up in one spot to talk about what seems most plausible.

“Retina” display

The rumor that has probably received the most coverage and had the highest number of “confirmations” across reliable publications has been the one that states the iPad 3 will have a high-resolution “retina” display similar to the one in the iPhone 4 and 4S. An iPad with a retina display has actually been rumored since before the iPad 2 was introduced a year ago, and some observers were disappointed when the iPad 2 appeared with the same resolution as its predecessor.

Numerous sources—and evidence found within the iOS SDK itself—hint that the iPad is destined to join the “retina” display clique this time around, though. What does that mean for prospective iPad 3 buyers? The original and second-generation iPads both had a screen resolution of 768×1024, but all signs point to the iPad 3′s resolution being 1536×2048—double the number of pixels in both directions for a pixel density of 260ppi. As we wrote last year, this pixel density isn’t exactly the same as the iPhone 4, which sits at 326ppi, but it’s close enough to look nearly as sharp to the nkd eye.

Higher megapixel camera(s)

The camera rumors haven’t been quite as prolific as those of the “retina” display, but a consensus is slowly building that the next-gen iPad will indeed have a better camera or two. Rumors from the beginning of the year claimed the front- and rear-facing cameras would both get an upgrade, with a later rumor suggesting the rear-facing camera might go up to 8 megapixels. (It’s worth noting that the camera currently in the iPhone 4S is also 8 megapixels.)

We don’t know a lot of people who use their iPads for photography à la the iPhone 4S, but perhaps that’s because the iPad 2′s camera isn’t much to write home about. When we reviewed the device last year, we were left unimpressed, but perhaps Apple is looking to expand people’s use of the front- and rear-facing cameras for things like FaceTime and other casual camera use. We would hardly be surprised to see some kind of camera bump this year, even if only to help keep the iPad’s specs from getting too stale.

Processors

For many Ars readers, the iPad 3′s rumored processor bump is one of the more interesting aspects of the new device. The processor is also one of the more talked-about elements while also being one of the most inconsistent.

Earlier rumors suggested Apple might move to a quad-core design for its next-gen mobile processor—rumors that were bolstered by evidence found within Apple’s Xcode late last year. Newer reports, however, indicated that the processor might retain the same dual-core processor as the one in the iPad 2 with improved Imagination Technologies GPU cores, and the rumored “A5X” could fit that description. As Chris Foresman wrote last month of the A5X: “The A5 is no slouch in general processing, but improved graphics processing would be especially useful if the iPad 3 contains a 2048×1536 pixel ‘Retina’ display.”

Even newer reports, however, suggested that Apple might be developing an improved, dual-core “A5X” processor alongside a quad-core A6 processor after all. Hints were buried within the developer previews of iOS 5.1 that Apple is working on both processors at the same time, indicating that it might have plans for a lower-powered iPad alongside a higher-end iPad 3. Or, the A5X could be destined for something else entire, like a revamp of the Apple TV.

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