Strange rumours have been flying around this week over Apple's upcoming iPad 3 announcement, well, we say upcoming but no one truly knows for sure when the firm will reveal the new product.
One rumour has suggested that Apple will return to the January 26-28 Macword Expo that it pulled out from back in 2009, to unveil the new iPad. Whilst the timing does line-up with other predictions, the likelihood of an Apple attendance at the event seems low, with the firm remaining unregistered and with some sources claiming that there's no planned release of a new product at the event.
The most interesting rumour has been that Apple will in fact release two new iPad 3 models to sit alongside the iPad 2, which will become the firm's low-end affordable device. Both new iPads are said to feature QXGA 1,536x2,048 IPS display panels from Sharp, both of which are expected to use dual-LED bars for improved lighting performance.
The primary differences are rumoured to be a 5MP camera in the mid-range model and an 8MP camera in the high-end model and much more surprisingly, the presence of a 14,000mAh battery in the high-end model. There's also debate as to whether the Apple A6 CPU featured in the new tablets will be of a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 design as originally suggested or in fact a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15.
We at HEXUS are a little unsure what to make of these rumours, although a second LED bar would raise power consumption, 14,000mAh is a long way from the 6,500mAh battery of the iPad 2 and would suggest that the firm is looking to improve overall battery-life dramatically. What's more, we'd be very interested to see how Apple could have pulled off such a feat, anyone can throw a larger battery into their device, the primary reasons no one does is because of the weight it would add to the product along with the difficulties in maintaining a slim form-factor; what's more is Apple should already be struggling for space as the dual-bar display is expected to thicker than the display found in the iPad 2.
We can only suggest that if the rumour of a larger battery is true, Apple has either completely redesigned the iPad using lighter and thinner materials, utilised a new battery technology in its tablet not yet found in other mainstream devices or that the high-end iPad 3 is to be fatter and heavier than its predecessor.
From a business perspective, the release of products for different price brackets makes sense, we reported just before Christmas that sales of Apple products have dropped in some regions as consumers become more price conscious, leaving the firm that focuses on high-end devices particularly vulnerable. In the tablet market, the availability of the affordable Amazon Kindle Fire in the US has led to the e-tailer snatching up sales, with the firm claiming record-breaking figures over the holiday season.
As for the name of the new iPad 3, were it to sell alongside the iPad 2, which Apple simply refers to as the 'iPad', this writer would go for the 'iPad Pro.' Perhaps the days of simply being able to say "I own an iPad" are numbered, as budget looks likely to affect more than just the on-board flash memory.