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Apple iPad 3: Rumors, Analysis and Predictions

A Retina Display on the iPad 3?

Image via OSX Daily

Image via OSX Daily

All else aside, consumers and geeks the world ‘round are salivating over Apple’s Retina Display technology. The iPhone 4S still has the best-looking screen in the smartphone world because of this tech (although the Galaxy Nexus is a close second), so a Retina Display-equipped iPad 3 would, by default, beat out any other tablet display currently available. In fact, it would probably best any tablet display that sees the light of day in 2012.

A display boost is a foregone conclusion at this point, as the 1024x768 LED-backlit IPS display that debuted with the original iPad, and carried over to the iPad 2, has aged past its usefulness. Will that boost come in the form of a 2048x1536 Retina Display? Yes. Honestly we can’t see Apple making any other move with the iPad 3. Plus, it’s the same move they made between the iPhone 3G S and iPhone 4 (doubling the resolution from 480x320 to 960x640). Creating apps for the high-res display will be a challenge, but assuming the quad-core GPU and boosted GPU make an appearance, the appropriate hardware will be in place for developers to go nuts.

Final Prediction: The iPad 3 ships with a 2048x1536, LED-backlit IPS Retina Display. If it doesn’t, expect rioting in the streets.

  • "Apple will unveil the iPad 3 early next month."

    Shouldn't this read "Apple IS EXPECTED TO unveil the iPad 3 early next month," or do you have hard evidence to back your claim? Rumor and expectations, however probable they may be, are not facts.
    Reply
  • "The iPhone 4S still has the best-looking screen in the smartphone world because of this tech (although the Galaxy Nexus is a close second)"

    So both have indistinguishable pixels but the OLED one entirely covers the sRGB gamut and has an essentially infinite contrast ratio, yet the IPS one is somehow superior? I thought I was on Tomsguide, not Engadget.
    Reply
  • whitey_rolls
    Still predicting a quad core processor? Didn't Apple already come out and say they would be putting another dual core processing in the Ipad 3?

    Reply
  • dconnors
    Thanks for commenting, guys.

    TK_Sam"Apple will unveil the iPad 3 early next month."Shouldn't this read "Apple IS EXPECTED TO unveil the iPad 3 early next month," or do you have hard evidence to back your claim? Rumor and expectations, however probable they may be, are not facts.
    I have zero reason to believe that the iPad 3 (or iPad 2S) isn't coming next month, hence the statement. But I did edit it, because as sure as I am that the next iPad is coming in March, it's still speculation.

    nexusCFX"The iPhone 4S still has the best-looking screen in the smartphone world because of this tech (although the Galaxy Nexus is a close second)"So both have indistinguishable pixels but the OLED one entirely covers the sRGB gamut and has an essentially infinite contrast ratio, yet the IPS one is somehow superior? I thought I was on Tomsguide, not Engadget.
    I have eyes on both displays virtually every day. Frankly it's a 1A/1B kind of comparison...if the iPhone 4S display is a perfect 10, the Galaxy Nexus is a 9.5 or 9.75. It's so close that I wouldn't consider it a dilemma for consumers.

    whitey_rollsStill predicting a quad core processor? Didn't Apple already come out and say they would be putting another dual core processing in the Ipad 3?
    No, Apple has yet to make any definitive statement on the iPad 3 hardware, as far as I know. It seems like popular thought is swinging back the other way - towards a higher-speed dual-core design - but I'm not so sure.

    -Devin Connors, Tom's Guide
    Reply
  • peevee
    More cores, more pixels... Boring.
    Useless too. Law of diminishing returns in full force here. Even 2 cores were too many.
    Make it cheap, unbreakable, long-lasting without recharge and easily viewable in sunlight (Mirasol?) and I will buy it. For vacations.
    Reply
  • peevee
    "The original iPad shipped with the A4 SoC, a 1 GHz single-core CPU paired with a PowerVR SGX535 GPU. The iPad 2’s A5 pulled and Emeril and kicked things up a notch, packing a dual-core 1 GHz CPU and slightly more powerful SGX543. "

    SGX543 is not "slightly" more powerful than SGX535, it is _insanely_ more powerful. Almost Playstation 3/Xbox 360 powerful.
    Reply
  • peevee
    "Final Prediction: The iPad 3 comes to market with a quad-core A6, likely clocked at 2 GHz. "

    Absolutely unlikely. At 2 GHz, power consumption (and heat dissipation) is astronomical by mobile standards, and you can only optimize consumption in a certain range on the same process (if you make it OK for 2GHz, it is not going to work well on 1GHz, and vice versa). Transformer Prime is only 1.3GHz by the way, and for a reason.
    Reply
  • peevee
    nexusCFX"The iPhone 4S still has the best-looking screen in the smartphone world because of this tech (although the Galaxy Nexus is a close second)"So both have indistinguishable pixels but the OLED one entirely covers the sRGB gamut and has an essentially infinite contrast ratio, yet the IPS one is somehow superior? I thought I was on Tomsguide, not Engadget.
    Unfortunately, as much as I like the technology, OLEDs still have very low maximum brightness compared to LCDs.
    Reply
  • dconnors
    peevee"Final Prediction: The iPad 3 comes to market with a quad-core A6, likely clocked at 2 GHz. "Absolutely unlikely. At 2 GHz, power consumption (and heat dissipation) is astronomical by mobile standards, and you can only optimize consumption in a certain range on the same process (if you make it OK for 2GHz, it is not going to work well on 1GHz, and vice versa). Transformer Prime is only 1.3GHz by the way, and for a reason.
    I corrected the prediction, and thanks for the clarification. The 2 GHz figure came from a reference design a while back, and we never followed up on the speed once the TF201 came out. Whoops!

    Also, peevee: Use the edit button...no one needs to make four posts in a row, dude.

    -Devin Connors, Tom's Guide
    Reply
  • I've been using apple since apple II, and am very disappointed in the way they are going.
    1. I'll won't buy another iphone (I've bought 3) until they make one with a bigger screen.
    2. I won't buy a ipad (never bought one) until they make one with a SMALLER 7" screen.
    3. I'm disgusted with the huge slow down that the iOS 5 brought to my iphone 4.
    and, ALL of them, iphone, ipad, STILL have the two main problems: no search back in calendar more than one rolling year! and search will not bring you to the string you searched for IN the document, just TOO the document! I have a lot of data on my iphone, including lots of LARGE documents, that I do not want to try to scroll through to find any string I need to find. apple= idiots.
    Reply