Take a hike iPad 2, there's a new king in town. As with all Apple products, the rumors on the next models start nice and early — months ahead of the unveil day.
For nearly a year, we've been following the rumor mill like bees flocking to their hives. Which ones ended up being spot-on and which ones were completely off? Read on for our full confirmed/denied scorecard.
Will The Real Third-gen iPad Please Stand Up?
When it comes to naming its products, Apple follows a relatively linear convention. Unless the newest iGadget is a complete redesign, Apple usually plays it safe by calling it a "S" product. It's been the case for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, and 4S. We've heard three names floated around for the next iPad, which one nailed it? Turns out none of them. Apple's going with "The new iPad."
Screen Size and Resolution
U.S. & World
There's really been no debate about the iPad ## and its screen. Leaked and whispered around the darkest corners of the Internet since the iPhone 4's Retina Display was announced, it was only a matter of time before the iPad received its own pixel-dense display.
What about a 7-inch iPad? Despite the late Steve Jobs' insistence that 7-inch tablets were dead on arrival because they are "too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad" the rumors that Apple would release a 7-inch or 8-inch tablet persisted non-stop.
- CONFIRMED: 9.7-inch display
- CONFIRMED: Retina Display with 2048x1536 resolution with fancy LED-backlit screen (via DigiTimes)
- DENIED: 7-inch display for small iPad "Mini" (via Korea Times)
- DENIED:8-inch display for small iPad "Mini" (via WSJ)
- DENIED 3D screen (via RCRWireless)
Processor, RAM, Storage, OS, Software and Siri
Aesthetically, the new iPad looks almost identical to the now old iPad 2. It's what's inside that makes the magic flow. There was a bit of a confusion concerning the processor, whether it'd be dual-core or quad-core. Turns out it's really a quad-core A5X processor to power that Retina Display. We expected Siri, but looks like it's still an iPhone 4S-exclusive. The new iPad does have built-in voice dictation, though.
- DENIED Dual-core A5X processor (via The Verge)
- DENIED Quad-core A6 processor (via 9to5Mac)
- CONFIRMED: Storage: 16/32/64GB
- UNCONFIRMED 1GB of RAM, up from 512MB (via ChronicWire)
- DENIED8GB "entry-level" iPad 2 with lower price
- CONFIRMED: iOS 5.1
- DENIED iOS 6.0
- CONFIRMED:iPhoto (via Daring Fireball)
- DENIED Siri
The original iPad didn't even have cameras. That all changed with last year's iPad 2. Although the rear camera is capable of 720p HD video, it takes terrible photos at poor 1280x720 resolution, which is barely one-megapixel. Camera upgrades were a must this time.
- DENIED 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p HD video recording / HD FaceTime, (up from 0.7-megapixels)
- DENIED 2-megapixel front camera for HD FaceTime (up from VGA)
- CONFIRMED: 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash with 1080p HD video recording (up from 720p HD)
In the U.S., there are four major carriers. AT&T and Verizon already have 3G iPads. Sprint has no iPads, but got the iPhone 4 and 4S last October and T-Mobile has no Apple products at all. Which networks cleaned up?
- CONFIRMED: CDMA networks: Verizon
- CONFIRMED: GSM networks: AT&T
- CONFIRMED: T-Mobile shafted again
3G/4G LTE Data Speed
Apple's main beef with 4G/LTE has always been related to battery life. No iOS device has 4G/LTE. Both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times independently reported that the new iPad would have 4G LTE. Here's what'll be available at launch:
- CONFIRMED: 4G LTE on Verizon and AT&T
- CONFIRMED: 4G HSPA+ on AT&T only
- CONFIRMED: 3G International model (via The Verge)
NFC, Battery, Design, Extras
The leap from the iPad 1 to iPad 2 was a big one, slimming and lightening the tablet without cutting any battery life. Apple even managed to toss in a pair of cameras. How big of a leap is the new iPad? Here's the lowdown:
- DENIED NFC
- DENIED Haptic feedback display (via Guardian)
- DENIED Double the battery life of iPad 2 (via DigiTimes)
- CONFIRMED: More pronounced tapering on edges and about 0.8mm thicker than iPad 2
- DENIED Thinner and lighter design (via Cens)
- CONFIRMED: Black and White models
- DENIED New iPad Smart Case that covers the back of the tablet (via iLounge)
- CONFIRMED: New Apple TV shows up with 1080p streaming