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iPad 3 Coming Tomorrow: What Can You Expect?


In just over 24 hours, the world will finally receive the first official glimpse of the long-awaited iPad 3. Here's what you can expect from the big reveal.

Textbooks Aplenty

For starters, Apple enthusiasts can expect more textbooks or textbook-related announcements. While many Apple enthusiasts have gotten lost in the deluge of rumors surrounding the iPad 3, many people have forgotten about the massive textbook announcement that Apple made earlier this year, which will no doubt be a focal point of tomorrow's press event. In addition to a list of accomplishments (how many books have been sold or any record-breaking figures Apple can muster), expect the iPhone maker to show off why textbooks are better with the iPad 3. The company might even take the time to announce some new textbook deals, as the iPad is the platform for Apple's textbook venture. But it might be a little too soon far that.

Retina Display: Practically Confirmed?

If the iPad 3 doesn't have a superior display, it's going to disappoint a lot of consumers. That doesn't seem likely. Apple said that it has something we have to “see” and “touch” this week. While that's true of virtually any Apple device (can you name any new ones that don't ship with or hook up to a screen?), seeing and touching are an especially important part of the iPad experience.

Was Apple intentionally drawing attention to the word “see” in its press event invitation? Many speculate that it was. Some have gone as far as to say that Apple will use the event to show off some TV-related device, if not the company's actual TV. The latter point seems to be very unlikely. But could Apple TV technology come built into the iPad 3? That's my prediction.

Either way, expect the screen to be gorgeous, and expect Apple to promote the heck out of it with a wide range of beautiful, high-resolution content.

No “3” in the Title

Apple might be so eager to promote the new screen that it might not use the iPad 3 name. Instead, the third iPad may actually be called the iPad HD.

Bear in mind that this has been rumored since last July, and some Apple enthusiasts do not believe that the company would use a name that has been rumored for so long. The “iPad 3” title may also have better branding capabilities, as it already leads (NASDAQ: GOOG) with more than 1.5 billion search results.

Comparatively, a search for “iPad HD” currently retrieves 974 million results. Could those results double by the end of the week?

4G LTE? Maybe, But…

Talk to any tech enthusiast (an extreme enthusiast) and he or she will tell you it would be awesome for the iPad 3 to have 4G LTE support. Talk to anyone else and you will get an entirely different response, such as:

“I'm buying the Wi-Fi version, so I don't care.”

“The Retina Display sounds more exciting.”

“4G LTE? What's that?”

4G LTE may be the future of wireless speeds – that's what Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T), and Sprint (NYSE: S) want us to believe, at least – but the future isn't here yet. For now, most consumers are content using their 3G connections. The lack of 4G speeds did not hurt the iPhone 4S one bit. So why would Apple launch a tablet with 4G LTE before bringing that technology to the iPhone?

It could happen. But an iPhone 5 with 4G LTE seems much more realistic.

Siri Hype is Suspiciously Silent

Where have all the Siri/iPad 3 rumors gone? This seems like an easy feature for Apple to add. The company quickly added FaceTime to all of its devices the moment it was announced. Granted, Siri is a bit more complex than FaceTime. It's also a work-in-progress feature that has yet to be perfected. But it's one of Apple's most popular creations (or acquisitions, depending on how you look at it).

Because of this, Apple could sell quite a few iPads by including support for Siri. So while it may not be the most talked about rumor, Siri seems to be a more likely iPad 3 feature than some of the other, more hyped features.

Faster Processing, Guaranteed*

*Not 100% guaranteed. But in the history of Apple products, the company rarely releases a new iDevice that contains the same power as its predecessor. So while we may not get a breathtaking quad-core processor that knocks the socks off every other device available, the iPad 3 should still prove to be faster than the iPad 2. And if it's not faster than every other tablet out there, I'd be stunned.

Bigger Battery? Not So Fast

Among all of the rumored iPad upgrades, the prospect of a battery that was twice the capacity seemed so much more appealing than everything else. Unfortunately, with so many other presumed power-draining upgrades (such as a high-def screen), the new battery – if there is one – may not actually provide twice the battery life. We could see a boost of 20% to 30%, which would be fantastic. But it won't be the mind-blowing increase that was initially expected.

Weight Gain

The iPad 2 might have the perfect combination of thinness and lightness. It's comfortable to hold, easy to use, and doesn't weigh down users' arms.

The third iPad, however, might need to be a little thicker and a little heavier to house all of the new features. This may not be a problem for all of the rumored upgrades (ex: the new screen shouldn't cause the iPad 3 to be any thicker or heavier). But if there's a new battery and/or a new processor, don't be surprised if the iPad 3's shape, size, and/or weight is/are affected.

New Camera Features

While the rumor mill has been quiet with regard to the kind of camera that will ship with the iPad 3, it would be very strange if the tablet shipped with the same weak camera as the iPad 2. I don't think anyone expects that to happen.

Follow me @LouisBedigian


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