It’s time for Apple to launch the new version of the iPad.
Now that Apple has announced the press event for iPad 3 scheduled for 7th of March, lets put whatever peices of puzzle are available on the upcoming tablet to predict what it will be like. Lets start with the design by looking at the leaked back cover for the new iPad. This is what it looks like compared to the current iPad 2
You can see from the picture above that the iPad 3 is a tad bit thicker than the iPad 2 and has a more curvy design around the edges. I would guess that the length and width of the new iPad will probably be identical to the current one but exactly how much thicker is the new iPad? The picture below answers that question for us
Using a digital caliper, the above photo shows the iPad 2 at 8.69mm and the iPad 3 at 9.5mm. According to official specs by Apple, the original iPad is measured at 8.8mm so the new iPad should be less than 1mm thicker. To put things in perspective, your average credit card is about 1mm.
Now lets move on to the specifications. The biggest addition to the new iPad is what Apple calls Retina display or an ultra high resolution screen currently found on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. If you have used these Smartphones from Apple, you know how good the display is. The iPad 3 is supposed to introduce that to the tablet space with a resolution of 2048×1536 which is exactly double of the current iPad. The invite picture sent by Apple pretty much confirms the Retina display with the clarity of the screen in the picture below.
There will obviously also be a CPU/GPU upgrade on the iPad 3 as it would be pretty hard for the current A5 CPU to run things at a smooth frame rate on that high resolution display. Until a few weeks back, we assumed that the new iPad will be powered by the A6 but then the following picture leaked:
We don’t really know much about the specs of the A5X pictured above- but then again, we don’t really know much about the A6 either. I would assume that the A5X is a faster version of the current SoC but still dual core and the A6 is a quad core. Maybe Apple will introduce more than one model of the iPad or maybe Apple TV will be upgraded to A5X and the iPad to A6. We’ll only know which way Apple goes with this next Wednesday.
Apple is also expected to update the radio on the new iPad moving to LTE instead of the current 3G/HSDPA. LTE is also known as 4G and offers much faster data speeds. Rumors suggest that the new iPad will fall back to 3G/HSDPA when LTE is not available giving it both speed and compatibility with the network.
Other than the above mentioned changes, Apple might introduce us to iOS 5.1 on the day of launch along with some new apps to showcase the power of iPad 3. As far as the price is concerned, one leak suggested that prices for the new iPad will be slightly higher, starting at US$579 instead of $499 which translates to AED 2125. Here is a screenshot of that but again, we can’t say how valid this is.
All will be revealed next Wednesday when Tim Cook takes the stage and introduces us to the new iPad but it’s always fun to play the guessing game. Do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below over what you expect in the next iPad and if you are planning on getting one. But be careful- like the previous verions, expect to pay a super-premium price on the iPad 3 in the UAE during the first couple of weeks.
I would honestly advise on waiting for the official version if you can. Hopefully we will find out when the launch date for the iPad 3 in the UAE is next week.