(Updated from 12:07 p.m. to include additional speculation about new operating system and Gorilla Glass 2 in the ninth and 12th paragraphs.)
NEW YORK (
is most likely set to unveil its
on Wednesday, and the rumor mill of what it will offer keeps growing.
From a faster processor, to Retina Display, to a better camera, there are several new features reportedly in the works for the newest tablet from Apple.
Here is an updated list of all the supposed features of the iPad 3.
Long Term Evolution (LTE) may be the biggest change to the iPad 3. LTE would allow the iPad 3 to surf the Internet and perform other functions such as downloading and opening apps at much faster speeds. The iPad 3 would be 4G-compatible, running on the high-speed networks from
also has a 4G network and it already carries the iPhone 4S, but it doesn't offer a data plan for the iPad yet.
LTE is expected to be a
according to Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu.
"We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, AMZN's Kindle Fire and not to mention the myriad of GOOG Android offerings out there," Wu wrote in a recent research note. Wu recently upped his calendar year 2012 iPad estimate from 51 million units to 55 million units. He rates Apple a buy with a $620 price target.
Running on LTE could help improve FaceTime, Apple's software application that allows users to make video calls to other iOS users. As a result, many expect Apple to increase the quality of the cameras on the iPad 3.
Rumors persist that the new iPad will get a high-definition front-facing camera to help support video conferencing. The back-facing camera may be upgraded to 8 megapixels or more to take higher quality photos. Currently, the iPhone 4S has a 8 megapixel camera.
There has also been talk that Apple will release an update of its newest operating system, iOS 5.1, on March 7. Apple released the previous version of its mobile operating system, iOS 5, along with the iPhone 4S on Oct. 4, 2011.
Apple is also likely to put a new processor, codenamed A5X, into the iPad 3. This would help Apple keep up with the speed demands for running on the LTE networks from telecom companies. Some are expecting a dual-core processor, while a few expect a quad-core, or four chips on a single processor.
The screen is likely to be the other major change from the previous version. It is expected that the new iPad will have Retina Display, and feature a QXGA 1,536 x 2,048-pixel HD display. That is much clearer than the iPad 2. It will have twice as many pixels as the previous version. Currently, only the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S have Retina Display.
There are rumors that
Gorilla Glass 2 could be used as the screen for the iPad 3. Apple
with Corning on Friday, when it mentioned the company as a supplier amidst job creation in the U.S.
This coincides with a potentially better speaker system on the iPad 3, as users increasingly use it for video support, watching movies and TV shows from
and other content-related apps.
The iPad 3
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
is going to feature
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
, and mentioned
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
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
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.
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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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