iPad 3: Predictions

(This article is a parody of all those articles ‘predicting’ what will be in the iPad 3. Journos love writing these articles, because they are guaranteed traffic and they don’t have to quote many sources. This article is written in that spirit. If anyone links to this article or quotes it under the premise of a ‘real’ article, and haven’t read this disclaimer, the jokes on you!)

The Apple event on March 7, US time, is expected to announce some reshuffles in the product line up, with some additions. The hot product tipped to launch is the iPad 3, the third-generation tablet device from Apple. This is very exciting for Apple and technology fans, and it is expected to see some major upgrades to keep the iPad competitive over tablets from other manufacturers.

Much is hoped for the iPad 3, given the disappointing, yet record sales, of the iPhone 4S, which was considered a minor upgrade over the iPhone 4. The number of added features was outweighed by the disappointment of not being an iPhone 5, and has been plagued with issues since. A similar release for the iPad would cause great loss to Apple and would disappoint many fans.

The biggest upgrade that is expected to be announced is a quad-core ARM processor. The iPad 2 saw an upgrade to a dual-core processor to help improve performance. The expected upgrade to a quad-core processor will keep it in line with expected launches of quad-core Android tablets, and look to keep Apple at the top of the pile. The quad core processor, expected to be labelled the A6, is also expected to boost graphics performance for the iPad. Many developers have applauded the upgrade to the dual core processor for increased performance, however some have still wanted more. Full featured apps, such as those for photography and audio editing, will benefit from the extra performance boost. Games will benefit from the boost in graphics performance too, with a rumour being that the iPad 3 will rival the Playstation 3 for rendering performance.

With this extra performance, and the expected Retina screen upgrade, Apple will need a much better battery to help deliver power. After the battery life performance issues with the iPhone 4S, Apple would be wise to avoid this. Currently, the battery life of the iPad 2 is up to 10 hours. To keep this life it is expected that Apple will increase the battery capacity by up to 15%. Apple is also expected to announce the release of iOS 5.1, which is expected to fix the battery issues experienced by the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2.

The screen is expected to receive an upgrade, with the iPad finally receiving the Retina treatment. The expected resolution is  2048×1536, with Apple hardware sources confirming this. The current 1024×768 resolution screen is quite dated in comparison to the iPhone and other Android tablets with high resolution screens. While this will require app developers to update their iPad apps, for most this shouldn’t be an issue as most have textures and icons for the Retina iPhone 4/4S.

Siri is expected to be released with the iPad 3 and iOS 5.1 update. Siri has proven to be popular, despite only working in the US and it suffering consistent outages. Siri was  one of the big selling features for the iPhone 4S and its release on the iPad has been anticipated for some time.

LTE connectivity is seen as a large upgrade, to keep up with newer tablets that have similar connectivity. This will work with US carriers’ version of LTE, and will hopefully utilize the versions of LTE implemented elsewhere in the world, such as Australia and Europe. 4G LTE upgrade would be a necessity to stay up to date, and be a platform to base 4G connectivity in the iPhone 5, expected to be announced soon.

Also on the cards is an upgrade to the camera in the iPad. It is expected the camera and lens used in the iPhone 4S, which takes high quality photos despite being a minor upgrade, will replace the 5MP back camera currently used. It is also expected that the forward-facing camera will be upgraded from a VGA camera to a 720P camera, to allow high definition Facetime from both front and back cameras. This will combine with the quad core processor upgrade to allow fast video processing and transmission. 1080P video recording from the rear camera is expected to revolutionize video capture and distribution.

Minor improvements for the iPad are expected to make it thinner, even with the feature upgrades. Even though it will be thinner, it is expected to maintain compatibility with iPad 2 cases

The gauntlet has been laid down for Apple, anything less than the list of upgrades that are expected would be a disappointment for such a significant new model. Despite the disappointing iPhone 4S upgrade, Apple fans should remain confident that that iPad 3 will deliver on what has been rumoured.

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