New iPad 3 release date, processor and more
The new iPad launch (the iPad 3 that’s not been called the iPad 3) kicked off at 10am PT/6pm GMT on Wednesday 7 March.
Browse back through our new iPad launch liveblog – or read on for a round-up of all the new iPad announcements.
Before talking about the new iPad, Apple’s Tim Cook unveiled an updated Apple TV box, bringing 1080p video streaming to the device which has a release date of 16 March and a price of $99. We’ve got the lowdown in our Apple TV: what you need to know post.
But it’s the new iPad that grabbed the headlines:
New iPad announced
Apple has announced the new iPad to the world, featuring a raft of new tech over the previous version including a super high-res screen.
Read New iPad announced: Retina display confirmed for the full details.
Hands on: new iPad review
The new Apple iPad has finally arrived bringing with it a superlative retina display, quad-core graphics A5X processor and an improved camera. We’ve been playing with the new iPad and our Hands on: new iPad review has our thoughts.
New iPad release date revealed
The new iPad release date is 16 March, with pre-orders starting from today. New iPad prices are as follows: 32GB is $599 and 64GB for $699.
For more details and additional prices, read New iPad release date revealed
New iPad: everything you need to know
OK, we now have all the details of Apple’s new iPad which comes complete with the new iOS 5.1.
Read New iPad: everything you need to know for, well, everything you need to know.
New iPad: where can I get it?
The new iPad has been announced, and we’ve been in contact with all the UK networks to see who is stocking it.
Hit New iPad: where can I get it? if you’re itching to buy one.
Apple slates Samsung in new iPad keynote
Apple had a bit of a pop at Samsung at the launch of the new iPad with Tim Cook dissing the look of the apps on a Samsung Galaxy Tab when compared with apps on an iPad.
Read Apple slates Samsung in new iPad keynote to see what Cook said.
New iPad ‘better than Xbox 360 and PS3′
Whoah. The new iPad has a better screen resolution and more memory than both the Xbox 360 and the PS3? But those aren’t exactly new consoles, are they?
More: New iPad ‘better than Xbox 360 and PS3′
Garageband, iMovie and iPhoto land on new iPad
Garageband and other iLife for OS apps have been shown off at Apple’s new iPad event.
More: Garageband, iMovie and iPhoto land on new iPad
iPad 2 price gets slashed
Now that the new iPad has been announced, that scruffy old iPad 2 has seen a price drop. You’ll now be able to nab a 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 for $399 in the US, which will comes out at £329 in the UK.
More: iPad 2 prices slashed
Below are the rumours that we reported on before the new iPad was revealed.
The web was teeming with rumours about the new iPad 3 / iPad HD processor, cameras and display, so we gathered together as many details as we can on its possible specifications ahead of the launch.
Of course, some of these can be taken with a pinch of salt, but there’s definite patterns occurring and we’d say the final iPad 3 release won’t be that far removed from many of these rumours.
It’s time to place your bets, what do you think the iPad 3 / iPad HD will bring? But wait, what’s this – Sky Bet has pulled its iPad 3 betting after certain trends occurred: “If the money is correct, then the new hardware will definitely not have a new carbon fibre casing, will not be called the iPad 2S and will have 128GB of storage!”.
So what’s the word on the street about the iPad 3?
Apple iPad 3 release date
The iPad 3 release date will be March or April 2012. We now know there will definitely be an iPad 3 launch event on 7 March and we’ll probably also see the release of iOS 5.1 at the same time.
We’d expect the iPad 3 US release date to be in early March and the iPad 3 UK release date later in the month.
Apple news site iMore was right in saying the announcement would be 7 March, citing sources “which have proved reliable in the past” have confirmed the date ahead of any official announcement from Cupertino.
On 27 February it was reported that the iPad 3 was ready to ship from Foxconn in China and a shipment would arrive in the US on 9 March.
Digitimes reported in late November 2011 that panel makers had already started shipping panels for the new iPad 3 – a million in October and two million in November.
Foxconn, Apple’s major manufacturing partner, is said to have started production of the iPad 3 in January. 2012. A source at one of Apple’s partners also told Bloomberg also stated that the company began production of the iPad 3 in January, with a view to reaching full volumes in February.
Digitimes reckons the new model is expected to meet the heady heights of 9.5 to 9.8 million units over the course of Q1 2012.
The Apple iPad 3 will have a quad-core processor
It’s probable that the iPad 3 will have a brand spanking new processor, Apple’s A6 – which will surely be a quad-core ARM-based processor. Quad-core designs are coming from various ARM partners and the Tegra 3 has already been launched by Nvidia, as well as the Snapdragon S4 from Qualcomm.
According to the Korea Times in November, the A6 processors are to be manufactured by Samsung, despite the companies’ ongoing patent battles. Could it be based on the new ARM A15 core design?
Apple iPad 3 display
A retina display was widely predicted for the iPad 2, but of course the current iPad doesn’t have a double-resolution display: for now, that’s something you’ll only get in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Could an iPad 3 Retina Display be on the way? It’s the very first thing on our iPad 3 wish list.
The exciting news is that it looks as though it is happening, with Apple reportedly testing suppliers’ current shipments of 2048 x 1536 resolution 9.7-inch displays. More credence was given to this rumour in the days leading up to the launch.
However, it’s not always been plain sailing for the display – rumours continued over the summer and autumn of 2011 that the retina display in the iPad 3 was continuing to be a challenge.
Back in May 2011, we reported that the iPad 3 could launch with a Samsung-made AMOLED screen, following rumours that Apple was in talks on the matter with Samsung execs. There have also been more LG and Samsung rumours, too.
However, according to the Wall Street Journal in late November 2011, Sharp will manufacture panels for the device. Apparently Apple is investing in infrastructure at Sharp’s LCD plant. Further rumours said that Apple is looking to implement some nifty dual LED lightbar technology into the iPad 3, apparently in a bid to counter-balance the brightness issue that the Apple tablet may have, due to its super-high pixel density.
iPAD 2: We wanted a retina screen, but didn’t get it - what about for iPad 3?
On 6 March 2011, The Guardian claimed that the iPad HD will come toting an improved ‘E-Sense textured touchscreen’.
The newspaper reckons that Apple will showcase a new display which will appear to have ‘texture’ and make the touchscreen feel rough, rigid or rounded in certain areas.
The report points out that this would explain Apple’s emphasis on the word ‘touch’ in an invite sent out to the media last week.
Many observers have assumed that the invite only refers to a high-resolution Retina Display, rather than any improvement to the tablet’s touchscreen.
However, The Guardian asserts that a Finnish company called Senseg is behind a potential announcement that none of the iPad 3 rumours have picked up on.
“The Guardian believes that the “touch” refers to a technology from Senseg, a Finnish startup which has developed a system called E-Sense which appears to give texture to a touchscreen,” the report states.
“By using “tixels” generated by electric fields from elements embedded around the screen, it can make areas of the screen feel rough, ridged or rounded – and change those just as the screen pixels can change.”
The next iPad is the iPad HD
The new iPad could actually be called the iPad HD if leaked data from iPad accessory manufacturers is to be believed.
The latest speculation comes from leaked parts listings of iPad accessory manufacturers Griffin and Belkin, who only get information on Apple devices a week or two before they are announced.
Although this by no means guarantees the iPad 3 will be the iPad HD, server logs have also turned up which make reference to a device called iPad HD and discloses the tablet’s resolution as 2048 x 1536.
Rumours of an iPad HD release grew stronger on 6 March with reports via Venturebeat and Cnet claiming that sources close to Apple have confirmed the iPad HD moniker.
Or will it be the iPad 2S?
An iPad case maker in China, Chinee, has started to sell a cover for a device it’s calling ‘iPad 2S’.
Case manufactures have a good history of being on the money when it comes to pre-empting Apple’s hardware plans, with last year’s iPhone 5-gate being an exception to the rule.
There is no confusion of where the iPad 2S name derives from – following the way of the iPhone as we saw Apple announce the iPhone 4S last year.
According to several rumours the iPad 2S will sport the same look as the 2, with a boost in internal gubbins but slightly more portly in depth.
There may be an iPad 3 LTE version
Persistent rumours suggest LTE support will be provided for the US. Great for the US, though it will leave the UK behind as there’s no 4G connectivity as yet. Cnet.com believes that the new iPad may feature a Qualcomm 4G LTE Gobi 4000 chip.
On 14 February 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that: “Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. will sell a version of the coming iPad that runs on their newest fourth-generation wireless networks, according to people familiar with the matter.”
The iPad 3 will usher in iOS 5.1
Alongside the much anticipated iPad 3, Macotakara sources seem convinced we’ll see iOS 5.1 come out of beta in March too.
The iPad 3 will have a bigger battery
A casing supposedly for the iPad 3 was posted online in February, with its size suggesting we’re in for an increase in battery and graphics power in the new Apple tablet. Some say the new casing appears to accommodate a larger battery.
Will the iPad 3 have a smaller dock connector?
Parts previewed on some websites indicate that, although the iPad 3 will still have a 30 pin dock connector, the packaging is streamlined. Well, if this is true, we knew it would happen sooner or later.
The iPad 3 hardware could include an NFC chip
Apple’s very interested in Near Field Communications, and one particularly tasty rumour at Cult of Mac suggests that the iPhone 5 will use NFC to take over nearby Macs, enabling you to use your data and settings with a flick of the wrist.
The iPad 3 specifications will include more storage
The iPad 2 has the familiar 16/32/64GB storage options. A 128GB option for the iPad 3 isn’t impossible – although that might depend on the situation in Asia, where natural disasters caused chaos in parts of the electronics industry last year.
The iPad 3 features could include a Thunderbolt port
Two generations of USB-free iPads suggest that Apple just isn’t interested in adding one, but the new Thunderbolt port found in the 2011 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air could be another story: it’s a combined accessory/display connector with astonishingly fast performance.
There could be more than one iPad 3
TUAW says the iOS 5 code features new code files for USB devices in the iOS 5 firmware, Through this, TUAW found references to an iPad 3,1 and an iPad 3,2. Is this latter variant the LTE version?
The iPad 3 could be thicker
THICKER?: Could iPad 3 be thicker than iPad 2?
The iPad 3 specs might include an SD card slot
This was widely predicted for the iPad 2 and, like the Retina Display, didn’t materialise. One for version 3, perhaps? Using a separate adapter to read camera cards is rather inelegant and clunky.
We’re also expecting the new tablet will get a memory boost, with 1GB of RAM under the hood.
The iPad 3 specification should include a better camera
The rear-facing camera on the iPad 2 isn’t brilliant: an iPhone 4S-style camera and flash would do nicely.
Several reports are suggesting the new device will have an 8MP camera.
The iPad 3 might use gesture controls
The iPad 3 could feature a carbon fibre case
Apple has hired a carbon fibre expert, senior composites engineer Kevin Kenney, fuelling speculation that the next iPad could be encased in the lightweight material.
iPad 3 price
Speculation suggests that the iPad 3 price will be $579, rather than the $499 users are currently paying for a Wi-Fi-only 16GB iPad 2.
More than just an iPad 3
Reports are suggesting that a cheap iPad 2 could be launched alongside the new iPad 3 – sporting 8GB of internal memory in an attempt to tackle the budget tablet market.
There’s also talk that Apple is lining up an iPad mini for later this year, which could start production in Q3. Could we see its first outing on Wednesday?
iPad 3 review / iPad HD review
We’ll be reporting from Apple’s iPad HD launch from 6pm on 7 March 2012 and we’ll bring you hands on review from the event, followed by a full, in-depth review when we’ve put the new iPad through its paces.