MacCast Member #116 - iPad 3 Rumor Roundup
V iPad 3 Rumors
V Opening
* With Apple's iPad 3 event looming on Wednesday I thought it would be a good time to do a complete rundown and give you my final thought on what features and specs I predict to hear come true this week.
* I'll rundown the rumored specs 1 by 1 and give each a 'Absolutely', 'Plausible', and 'Not at this time' rating.
V Retina Display
* If you define 'retina' by the standards set by the iPhone, over 300 ppi then technically this one might not be true.
* Reality though is that several sources predict a double resolution 1536x2048 panel.
* Based on the screens 7.75×5.82 in dimensions that would be a pixel density of 264ppi. Just shy of 300, but close enough to be retina.
* The hype on this rumor existed before the iPad 2, so if we don't see a higher resolution screen on the iPad 3 I'll eat my Smart Cover
* I call this one 'Absolutely'
V Upgraded Processor
* One this one there are actually two divided camps, so it gets interesting
* The long standing rumor was that the iPad 3 would have a quad-core A6 processor
* A couple well respected site who have been right on Apple rumors in the past say they have reliable sources who "confirm" an iPad quad core chip.
V Then late in the game we started hearing about another processor, the A5X.
* Possibly a slightly tweaked A5 using a smaller nanometer manufacturing process to create a more powerful more energy efficient dual core chip
* Couple that with the Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series6 GPUs, which are said to offer a 20x jump in graphics power, and there would still be plenty of horsepower in the new iPad 3
* In my opinion either of these chips would make a good upgrade to the iPad 3
* I think which one makes the cut comes down to two factors, how energy efficient is the chip and could the factors turn out quality chips in high enough yields to meet Apple's demands.
* On this one I give an 'Absolutely' to an upgraded chip and a slight edge to the A5X dual core being the one we see mentioned at the event. Either way i think that the new iPad will get more of it's performance bump from a new GPU.
V Upgraded Camera
* Ahh the Achilles heal of the iPad 2. You wouldn't have to do much to improve the cameras from the ones in the iPad 2
* There seems to be two main debates related to the iPad 3 cameras, how many mega pixels and will one or both cameras be upgraded
* On the back camera the question is 8MP or 5MP.
* On this one I think that Apple will want to standardize on a single part across both the iPhone 4S and the iPad 3.
* The logical choice to me would be to upgrade the front cameras and use the same ones as in the iPhone 4S.
V That means an 8-megapixel front facing camera and 1080p video and VGA front facing camera
* Come have mentioned a FaceTime HD front camera on the iPad, but I don't see that happening
* So I give the upgraded camera rumor and 'Absolutely'
* Until recently I was pretty sure this one had a snowballs chance in you know what
* As ArsTechnica points out both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have pegged the next iPad as having 4G support
* The carrier do have wider 4G rollouts in the States, but they are far from complete. I mean FAR.
* Late in February Qualcomm did announce a new version of their Gobi chips, found in the iPhone 4S, that support both 4G and 3G on a single chip, but as far as I can tell no availability has been announced.
* Considering that 4G still isn't in wide deployment and the questionable availability of the Qualcomm chips I give the 4G in iPad 3 a 'Not at this Time'
* I think we'll see 4G in the iPhone 5 this Fall with it arriving in the iPad 4 in March of 2013 when the carriers have LTE in wider use.
V Thicker Profile
* We have been hearing for a while that the new iPad 3 will put on a millimeter or so to it's thin profile.
* Apple has often touted the thinness of the device, but this time they may not focus on it's dimensions so much.
* The latest rumors are that the iPad 3 will be 0.81mm thicker.
* The difference is really almost negligible and if it is true it likely won't have too much impact on accessories beyond some of the hard shell cases.
* I think the reason for the bulge is likely the new camera sensor and a bit more room for extra battery to support the new CPU and GPU and still keep the battery life the same.
* It's even plausible that the battery life might go up, especially if it is a dual core CPU.
* The back case is reportedly noticeably more tapered on the edge and I buy that rumor too. I think it will help conceal the added thickness when you pick it up.
* A 0.81mm thicker iPad 3? 'Absolutely'.
V Bonus prediction, no home button.
* Many people seem to think the Home button will vanish at some point replaced with a touch sensitive area on the bezel
* Come excitement was created when Apple's iPad 3 event invites went out and pictured a closeup on the iPad dock without a home button on the bezel.
* Closer inspection though simply shows, based on the spacing between the icons, that the iPad pictured is simply in landscape mode.
* As much as Steve had a hatred for buttons the iPad 3 will still have the home button
* So, no home button on the iPad 3, "not at this time"
V Smaller 7" iPad
* This is the rumor I say that won't die.
* Many seem to think that Apple "has" to do something to address the 7" tablets like the Kindle Fire.
* I agree with Steve Jobs and say these are 'tweener' devices that are too big to be a smartphone, but too small to be a viable tablet,
* As media consumption devices, maybe. Say a 7" iPod Touch plus and give it a media/gaming slant and you might have me.
* For not I say, "not at this time" and likely never.
V Siri on the iPad
* Even when Siri was announced with the iPhone 4S many asked if we would see an update to bring it to the iPad 2.
* We know it's technically possible and Siri is a big marketing and selling point for the iPhone 4S
* The thing about Siri though is that it's highly dependent on an "always on" internet connection and not every iPad sold will have that.
* I would love to have Siri on my iPad, even if it was a Wi-fi, only one as I would understand the limitation, not not everyone might.
* I give this one a "very plausible", but won;t be shocked if Apple keeps Siri monogamous to the iPhone.
V Higher priced
* Recently there was a rumor that the new iPads would go up in price $70-$80 USD.
* The rumor is very thin and came out of a Chinese site describe to be kinda like Twitter.
V With the margins Apple currently enjoys on iPads to me a price hike like this would come off to consumers as a move to leverage the iPads popularity and stats to gouge the consumer.
* Apple still has the sting from the original iPhone price drop fiasco and I don't think they are likely to repeat that.
* 9to5 Mac, a much more reliable source in my opinion, says the prices will stay the same and I'm apt to believe them, so my verdict on higher prices iPad 3s is, "Not at this time".
V Apple TV 3, one more thing?
* Some think that the Apple TV is due for an update about now too
* Part of this is that supplies of Apple TV 2's are retailers have reportedly been drying up
* Also that Apple A5X processor, some say, is an upgraded chip for a new Apple TV and not the iPad 3, that they say will get the quad-core A6.
* The big focus on the Apple TV 3 would be to bring 1080p playback support to the set top box.
* That would be good because presumably an iPad 3 would be able to playback 1080p and you's want to be able to AirPlay it in full resolution to your HD TV
V It's also rumored that an updated Apple TV would get new software that may finally bring apps to the Apple TV
* If that happened I would think it would be "select" apps, think of a select subset of the App store.
* Apps focused mostly on content and some games that would work with an iPhone or iPad as the controller.
* I think Bluetooth would also finally be enabled in an Apple TV 3
* I give this one a 'Plausible'