iPad 3 Rumours: Release Date, Specs & Siri

Dave Cook


iPad 3 rumours are heating up fast, suggesting that some kind of reveal could drop as early as March. To shed some light on Apple’s next tablet, we do a little digging for answers.

Published on Feb 3, 2012

[UPDATED 07/03/12]

iPad 3 is as inevitable as the coming of night, but with so many rumours currently breaking cover online, you’d be forgiven for thinking that an Apple reveal is imminent. 

Whenever new hardware is touted for a reveal, all sorts of rumours appear from all over the place, and it gets hard to keep track of them all. 

So in an attempt to make some sense of current rumours, we play detective and round up the biggest iPad 3 rumours doing the rounds today.

[NEW] iPad 3 will include a haptic touch display

The newest iPad 3 rumour suggests that the device will feature a haptic display, a screen that displays textured elements you can feel. For example, you would be able to feel the countours of keys on the onscreen keyboard. 

Rumour has it that Finnish company Senseg has developed the technology for Apple's device. Many sources are claiming that the physical nature of haptic touch screens is hitned at by the text on invites to Apple's unveiling event.

The text reads, "We have something you really have to see. And touch", suggesting that physicality will have a part to play in whatever Apple reveals.


[NEW] iPad 3 might actually be called iPad 2S or iPad HD

This brand new rumour comes from branding on several iPad accessories created by manufacturers Belkin and Griffin. Leaked product branding from both companies are said to feature the name iPad HD, which has been backed up by sources that are said to be close to Apple. 

Meanwhile, another accessory manufacturer based in China called Chinee has started listing protective casing for a device it is calling iPad 2S, suggesting that Apple's new device could either be iPad HD or iPad 2S.


iPad 3 will be revealed March 7th

As we correctly reported below, Apple will officially reveal iPad 3 on March 7th at an event in San Francisco. The reveal will take place at 10am PST on the day.

The confirmation came when tech websites started posting images of event invitations they had received for the event, inlcuding the quote "We have something you really have to see. And touch", hinting at the likelihood of the next iPad 3 coming with the iPhone 4's gorgeous Retina Display.

NowGamer will be on hand to report on the reveal as it happens 7th March.


iPad 3 is quad-core, will be revealed March 7th

This fresh rumour comes courtesy of Apple rumour blog iMore. Known as a reliable and consistent source for rumours, the blog suggests that iPad 3 will be announced by Apple on 7th March.

iMore elaborates that iPad 3 will feature a '2048×1536 Retina display screen, a quad-core Apple A6 chip set, and 4G LTE networking'.

The 7th March date ties in with the next iPad event to be hosted by Apple. iMore also notes Apple's trend of announcing new tech on Wednesdays. Coincidence, or a sure deal?


iPad 3 isn’t that much different to iPad 2 on the surface

According to tech website iLounge, one of its writers allegedly saw the iPad 3 first-hand at CES 2012, but wasn’t that impressed with what he saw. iPad 3 is also said to be thicker than its predecessor. 

“I’d show you a picture, but there’s honestly nothing to be seen. Think iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S: this device so resembles the iPad 2 that differences are only obvious when they’re placed next to each other. From the back, you could walk past this new iPad on display and have no idea that anything had changed.”

The only noticeable surface change is that the iPad 3 camera is allegedly larger than iPad 2’s, and still lacks an LED camera flash light. iLounge even went as far to say that Apple could even call iPad 3 “iPad 2S”, or “iPad 2 HD”. Ouch.

Elsewhere, the popular consensus from leaks is that iPad 3 is thicker than iPad 2, weighing in at an additional 0.7mm. This is said to be necessary for housing larger light bars to provide sufficient back lighting for the new retina display screen. 


iPad 3 runs on a TSMC-developed A6 quad core processor

This is a new rumour that started after a source claiming to be in possession of a prototype iPad 3 posted a batch of debug analytics from the hardware. Using a debug tool called iBoot, the source posted photos of various stats and tech babble, including a supposed processor model number. 

The model number in question reads S5L8945X, suggesting that the iPad 3 will run a quad core processor within an Apple A6 chip set. When compared against the Apple A4 model number S5L8930X and the A5 S3L8934X version, the leaked images begin to fall in line with previous iPad iterations.

Back in October 2011, on anonymous sourced leaked information to a number of Mac rumour sites, relating to TSMC, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The source claimed that Apple had been in talks with Samsung to develop the A6, but that TSMC is now in charge of development.


iPad 3 will launch on 29 March

Meanwhile, recently listed an iPad 3 tutorial book – iPad 3 For Dummies – on its French site. Amazon listed the book as for sale on 29 March 2012, sparking fresh rumours that Apple is gearing up to announce the device around about this time.

American news source Bloomberg has also been touting a March release date according to leaked information passed down by unnamed sources. Bloomberg also reported that iPad 3 could come with a quad core processor and an HD screen. Still no word on a retina screen however.


iPad 3 will feature an LCD ‘Retina Display’ screen developed by Sharp

Back in January, Japanese blog Macotakara reported that the production of iPad 3 components had already begun, with a view of shipping in March 2012, backing up other claims of a 29 March release date.

The report suggested that Apple’s manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron are once gain handling development, along with multiple component manufacturers. One component manufacturer discussed was Sharp.

Rumour has it, the iPad 3 screen will run at a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, which makes it at least four times as powerful as the iPad 2 display. How this affects battery life is still unknown.

Sharp – a known business partner of Apple - is allegedly creating and providing LCD screens for the first run of iPad 3 devices, and is currently creating them for the March release window as well. Popular rumours also suggest that the iPad 3 screen is indeed a ‘retina display’ model.


iPad 3 will feature Thunderbolt port connectivity

Apple has filed many Thunderbolt trademarks in the past 12 months, but current rumours suggest that Thunderbolt connectivity is coming to iPad 3. As the current line of iPad devices lack any sort of USB port, the addition of a super fast Thunderbolt port could be a real coup for Apple.

As Thunderbolt is 20 time faster than USB 2.0, and allows connection to a wide range of devices and cable types, this inclusion could give rise to the most connected and adaptable iPad model yet. 

Recent Thunderbolt patents by Apple in January are said to include the line, “A connection may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices.”

This surely sounds like a reference to iPad 3, although Apple has understandably remained quiet on the issue. If true, this would result in incredibly fast data transfer between devices and fast battery recharging.


iPad 3 will launch with Siri

Earlier this year, Mac website 9to5mac ran a report that suggested Siri integration was coming to iPad 3. The rumour began after developers started using iOS 5 beta 3, and after tinkering around with the beta on iPad 2, developers made an interesting discovery.

When using iPad 2, developers stumbled across a keyboard menu entitled “About privacy and dictation”, that featured a primer on Siri’s key functions. As iPad 2 doesn’t support Siri, rumours about iPad 3 Siri integration quickly erupted. 

The discovery followed separate rumours that Apple was successfully testing iPad 3 prototypes with Siri. As Apple has been having a big push on Siri tech through iPhone 4S advertising campaigns, Siri for iPad 3 could be a good shout.


iPad 3 will come in three different models, including a 4G edition

Earlier we discussed how a source used a program called iBoot to root around inside the inner workings of an alleged iPad 3 prototype. Among the screen grabs leaked by the source were multiple references to J1 and J2, which are short code for two different models of iPad.

The J1 is allegedly the Wi-Fionly model, while the J2 supports both Wi-Fiand 3G connectivity. However, further investigations have led to what unnamed sources have revealed to be a third version of the iPad 3 hardware, an advanced model that will support 4G connections.

Sources have also claimed that Apple is in negotiations with NTT DoCoMo – a prominent mobile phone operator in Japan – to discuss the development and use of 4G LTE radios. Given that 4G is now rolling out in some parts of the world, iPad 3 integration could indeed be on the cards.


iPad 3 will support stylus control

Apple has always insisted that touch control should only ever be used using bare fingers, rather than a stylus. Steve Jobs himself even of tablet competitors, “If you see a stylus, they blew it”. 

However, two patents from September 2011 suggest that Apple is ready to embrace the stylus. Two US Apple patents have allegedly been registered. This first is said to be an electronic pen that offers increased precision, and rumour has it that the pen can be charged by docking it in the iPad 3 itself.

The second patent is allegedly a wireless stylus pen that communicates to the iPad 3 remotely. It will give you the option of writing or drawing on any surface, and whatever you scribble will be sent to your iPad 3 screen via wireless. 

If true this could really shake up how we use touch control, and as this technology already exists for Mac computers, this could be a neat new feature for iPad 3 from both an every day use and gaming perspective.


iPad 3 will feature a larger battery, and a new logic board

This rumour surface in February 2012 when photos of what appear to be an iPad 3 outer shell were leaked online. According to the screens, iPad 3 will feature a larger battery and a reworked logic board.

When the source of the leak Repair Labs analysed the back casing of the alleged iPad 3, they found that the logic board mounts were a different shape and size than those found within iPad 2.

The change in logic board size also suggests that the battery size will be increased, and that the iPad 3 LCD screen will undergo some changes since iPad 2.

Finally, Repair Labs also suggest that the casing is is the same thickness as iPad 2, which seems to debunk claims that iPad 3 will be thicker than its predecessor.

9to5mac also obtained what appear to be high-res images of the iPad 3 outer shell from a Chinese supplier. If true, these shots confirm that the battery size will be increased, as well as a widened camera lens.



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