The iPad 3 form factor will be similar to the iPad 2, but it will be slightly thicker to give users a longer battery life. The current iPad 2 is just 0.34 inches in width and weighs 1.33 pounds. According to Apple, the iPad 2 has a 10-hour battery life.
Apple's new tablet is likely to have Siri, the voice-controlled assistant first seen on the iPhone 4S. Apple has been expanding the reach of Siri, as Daimler (DAI) is going to feature Siri in Mercedes-Benz A-class cars later this year.
There are a few features that have been rumored, but are less likely than the ones already mentioned.
Near Field Communications (NFC) could be on the new iPad, but Apple may be more likely to save that for the new iPhone, due out later this year. NFC is the ability to use a mobile device as a wallet, as opposed to paying with cash or a credit card. There has been increased chatter Apple is going to do something with NFC since it unveiled its supplier list, and mentioned NXP Semiconductor (NXPI) as a supplier. NXP Semiconductor is well known for supplying NFC chips.Some have speculated that the new iPad could have a Pico projector, similar to what Samsung did with its Galaxy Beam smartphone. This feature set has not been mentioned that often, and is more likely to be saved for a later version of the iPad, but with Apple, you never know. Blogs and various publications continue to say that Apple will launch a 7-inch version as well, code-named the "iPad Mini." This seems less likely than any of the previous rumors, although speculation is that Apple could launch this in time for the holiday season. There's always the "One more thing" announcement which has journalists, bloggers, analysts and fan-boys up in arms. Apple shares were lower in Monday trading, down 2.2% to $533.13.
-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/commodity_bull.
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