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10 iPad 3 Rumors We Hope Are True


Ten things we hope come true when the iPad 3 is unveiled on March 7.

Yesterday afternoon, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) finally confirmed that it would hold an event for the long-awaited iPad upgrade next Wednesday. Using nothing more than an image of a finger and a close-up of what could only be the third iPad, Apple wrote the following message: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

That vague, hype-laden message isn't uncharacteristic of Apple, a company that loves to tease consumers and tech reporters alike. But what, exactly, will we be seeing and touching?

There have been a lot of rumors surrounding what we can expect from the next iPad. While it would be great for all of them to come true (who wouldn't want an iPad that could be controlled by our minds?), there are 10 that stand out as the rumors that we hope (fingers crossed!) will come true.

10. New Camera with 8MP

My argument against tablet cameras has always been the same: unless you're using FaceTime, this feature is useless. But while the clunky shape and size is my primary complaint (why would you want to snap a photo using a 10-inch device instead of a compact phone or an actual camera?), the weak picture quality has also played a role in deterring some consumers from using them. With an eight megapixel camera, that would finally change. It might not be as cool or as sexy as taking photos with an iPhone 4S. But if this rumor is true, the iPad 3 will become one of the most commonly used devices for taking photographs.

9. Make Mine a Quad-Core

“It's not the size of the processor, but what you do with it,” some say. These are the same people who once thought that an Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) Celeron processor was “good enough” for their computing needs.

In truth, the iPad 3 could use a quad-core processor, if only to power the next evolution of games from the App Store. Surely other app makers could take advantage of the added power. From book publishers looking to increase the interactivity of their books to video streaming companies like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), a quad-core processor would benefit everyone.

8. Speedy Data with 4G LTE

The average consumer does not need, want, or care about a tablet that supports 4G LTE. But for those who are willing to pay for mobile data, the ability to remain connected to the Internet at all times (with or without Wi-Fi) is quite appealing. Being able to download apps and stream videos with a 4G connection would make this experience even better.

Any bets on how much Sprint (NYSE: S) might charge for an unlimited data plan?

7. iOS 5.X

iOS 5 is still fairly new, so we shouldn't expect much of an upgrade on the iPad 3. But it is possible that Apple could add a few new features to the iDevice operating system, or so rumors have led us to believe. Should we buy into this? Probably not. But do we wish we could? Absolutely.

6. Superior Device, Same Great Price

Who knew we even needed a rumor for this?

Apple has been pretty consistent in its pricing model. But with conflicting reports indicating that the iPad 3 could be $70+ more expensive than the iPad 2 (presumably due to inclusion of costly new features, such as 4G LTE), I'm hoping that the more sensible reports (which promise a base price point of $500) are more accurate.

5. One Size Fits All

Apple won't divide the iPad market by releasing a seven-inch tablet. But many rumors claim otherwise. I, for one, am hoping that the one-size-fits-all rumor – which suggests that the 10-inch format will reign supreme for several years to come – turns out to be true.

4. The Release Date is March 9

Or so we hope. While it is wholly possible that device may ship on another day (March 29 is also rumored), the sooner consumers can buy the iPad 3, the better.

If the release date is March 9, it should be interesting to see how consumers react on March 7. With only 48 hours (or less) till they could buy one, will Apple enthusiasts take off work and get in line? If there are only two days in between the unveiling and the release, chances are pre-orders will not be offered, ensuring that consumers rush to get an iPad 3 to avoid the inevitable shortage.

3. Siri Support for Touch-Free Fun

I've had my share of complaints for Siri and its various, um, quirks. But the only way Apple can produce a better voice recognition system is to place Siri in the hands of as many consumers as possible. Inevitably, the majority of the first-day iPad 3 buyers will be iPhone 4S owners who have already experienced the best that Siri has to offer. But in time, the iPad 3 could help expand Siri's reach to millions of additional users.

Not only that, but I'm willing to bet that if Apple adds Siri to the iPad 3, it could come up with some cool features that are exclusive to the tablet, which would make the device even better.

And what about a few Siri-enhanced games for the iPad 3? That could be amazing.

2. Retina Display

The most commonly rumored upgrade for the iPad 3 is also the most unnecessary. The first two iPads already contain the most beautiful screen of any tablet. It may not be on par with the several-thousand-dollar OLED monitors from Sony (NYSE: SNE), but the iPad's current display still trumps the competition. In fact, the only comparable screens I've seen are several inches smaller and belong to PSP and PS Vita, both of which are from Sony.

If the iPad 3 has an improved screen (who cares about the “Retina Display” name; it's the picture quality that counts), it will likely become the most attractive portable device available. Imagine what it would be like to watch movies on a super-high-resolution 10-inch display. Nothing would be better…except for watching movies on a 42-inch Apple television set. But we're months (if not years) away from that. So let's focus on the iPad 3 for now.

1. Twice as Nice

Hands down, the most exciting iPad 3 rumor promises that the new tablet will feature battery with twice the capacity of the iPad 2.

This would be amazing. It would allow users to surf, play, and watch videos all day and all night without having to worry about a recharge. And it would mean that Apple has found a superior battery technology that could be added to other devices – such as the next MacBook Air.

The only downside to a double-capacity battery is that some of the additional power could be sacrificed by a Retina Display, a quad-core processor, or 4G LTE. But even a 50% boost in battery life would be very impressive.

Follow me @LouisBedigian


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