Apple Announces iPad 3 Event for March 7th, Rumor Roundup

Apple today sent out invites to journalists for their annual iPad event. This year, the event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on March 7th at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. Accompanying the invitations, Apple included the traditional image, which reads “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

While there has been a great deal of speculation regarding this device in the past few months, there are a few things that have remained the same in most of them. Hit the break to see some detailed information on what Apple’s next-generation tablet may include.

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Apple's March 7th invitation image

Quad-Core Processing Power

One of the most referenced of the rumored iPad 3 features is the quad-core processor. Just a few years ago, this may have sounded like something that was far off, though it has approached more rapidly than ever. Business blog Bloomberg and iOS device blog iMore have both reported that the upcoming iPad 3 will include an even faster CPU and enhanced graphics processing abilities. With such an improvement, the tablet would be able to perform many actions and calculations at lighting speeds never before seen on an iOS device.

WeiPhone's photo of the A5X CPU

In addition to the aforementioned reports, a small Chinese site WeiPhone held a forum post with a picture of a proportioned iPad 3 CPU, though with a slight twist in the naming. You see, many assumed that the iPad 3 would have an Apple “A6” CPU because of the manufacturer’s naming scheme. For instance, the current iPad 2 utilizes a 1 GHz dual-core Apple A5 CPU and its predecessor a single-core Apple A4 CPU clocked at 1 GHz. If Apple were to continue this naming system on their next device, then it would employ an A6 CPU. However, the image on WeiPhone did not agree with these claims. Instead, the site claimed that Apple would be using an “A5X” CPU instead.

Retina Display

As one of the most beloved features of the iPhone 4, a Retina display could really change things for tablets. When it was released back in June of 2010, the iPhone 4 revolutionized the way we thought about displays. I mean, it had nearly twice the amount of pixels packed into the same area, which made things extremely clear and pixels nearly impossible to see. Since then, competitors have brought many other types of displays to the table, though the iPhone’s was still the original idea that inspired it all.

What do you think? Would Apple bring this great feature to the iPad, or will it just be an iPhone-exclusive? I think that they’re going to add it to their next edition of the tablet, though it may cost a bit extra for the device.

Long Term Evolution, or “LTE”

The Verizon 4G LTE announcement

Last year, Verizon released this great new thing that allowed you to communicate with the Internet at speeds equal to that of your home network – literally. At an average of 20 Mbps download and 6 Mbps upload, LTE has become the pinnacle of mobile communication. It was originally a Verizon-exclusive service, but now AT&T and Sprint are even adopting it. This is true 4G, now would you like to see it on the iPad? Many reports, including the previously-mentioned Bloomberg and iMore, claim that it’s coming – and apparently this year. I’d sure love to see some rapid speeds on my tablet later this year as it would be a lot more worth the money than a 3G model is.

Siri for Voice Commands

Since its first appearance at the iPhone 4S announcement in October of 2011, Siri has changed the lives of many. The voice assistant will try its very best to help you with nearly any of your needs, from checking the weather to texting a friend. Now, wouldn’t it be great if Apple brought this to their tablet? I’d sure use it a lot if they did. Sadly, there haven’t really been any reports verifying that this will ever happen. In fact, a recent report by CNET proposed that the iPhone 4 wouldn’t ever get Siri either because the iPhone 4S had special noise-cancelling technology – Apple could integrate this into the iPad 3 if they wished.

An 8-Inch Model

MacRumors' depiction of the 8-inch iPad

Kevin Whipps spoke about this two weeks ago. In fact, The Wall Street Journal had apparently happened upon some information backing the reports that Apple is testing a smaller model of their tablet. While Steve Jobs himself was against smaller tablets, saying that “7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad.” So, I’d say the possibility of this isn’t very great at the moment, but Apple could possibly adopt the idea later on.

Larger Battery, More RAM, Better Cameras, Etc.

There are many more iPad rumors that have been surfaced, but they are a bit more rare. These include a larger battery to last long enough for LTE, a slightly thicker chassis that probably got its thickness because of the larger battery or LTE antennas, a more tapered edge on the chassis, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of capturing 1080p video, the usual addition of RAM, etc. Since the event is only a week away, there’s really no point in speculating any further at this juncture.


What do you think of these rumors? Will some of them actually happen or are they all just ridiculous? Let us know in the comments!

iPad icon via Fasticon