iPad 3 Rumor Roundup

Will it have a Retina display? 4G? Quad-core power? And what about Siri? There's a lot of speculation surrounding the impending launch of the iPad 3. According to reports, Apple's eagerly anticipated sequel could launch as soon as next month and go on sale in March. With so many rumors swirling about this slate, it's hard to know what features will make it into the final product. Remember the iPhone 5 hype? Still, that doesn't mean it isn't fun to review what has been said thus far. Here's a quick recap.

Availability: Launch Date in February, On Shelves by March

Just a few days ago, Japanese publication Macotakara (as reported in English by 9to5mac) wrote that Apple would unveil the iPad 3 in early February, citing sources in the company's supply chain. Add to that reports from Bloomberg that the tablet will hit the market by March, and it looks like the next-gen slate is at the tail end of the project pipeline.

Sources: 9to5mac, Bloomberg, Macotakara

Display: Double the Resolution?

One of the first iPad 3 rumors to surface was about the tablet's display, with the Wall Street Journal reporting in August that Apple would use a 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 (QXGA) display in the new tablet (as opposed to the iPad 2's 1024 x 768 resolution). CNET and DigiTimes had a similar story this week, claiming that LG Display and Sharp will manufacture 6 to 7 million iPad 3 screens in the next two and a half months. With Android tablets announced at CES that sport 1900 x 1200 full HD screens, such as the Transformer Prime TF700T and the Acer Iconia Tab A700, Apple's slate could very well leapfrog the competition.

Sources: CNET, DigiTimes, Wall Street Journal

Faster A6 Processor: Quad-Core Muscle

In a post last week, Bloomberg cited sources who say the new iPad 3 will ship with a faster quad-core processor, a rumor that's since been published by everyone from Engadget to Mac Rumors. We're excited to see what apps Apple will show off to take advantage of this extra horsepower, especially next-generation games.

Sources: Bloomberg, Engadget, Mac Rumors.

Better Cameras: FaceTime Goes HD

The iPad 2's rear 720p camera has received plenty of flack for its mediocre image quality, but BGR says the iPad 3 will upgrade to a 8-megapixel shooter on par with the cam on the iPhone 4S. Additionally, the front-facing camera could support HD FaceTime video chats. iLounge's Jeremy Horwitz was the first to report this, via Twitter.

Sources: BGR, Jeremy Horwitz

Siri Support: Dictation or the Whole Shebang?

Citing a leaked image of the iOS 5.1 beta 3, 9to5Mac hinted that Apple could be adding Siri dictation functionality to the upcoming iPad. The beta shows a menu section for "Dictation and Privacy," a feature that is not available on current models of the tablet. It's unclear if this means that the iPad 3 will offer only voice recognition capabilities for dictation or whether Apple will be porting the entire Siri experience to its new slate.

Sources: 9to5Mac

4G LTE Support: The Need for Speed

Could the iPad finally get an upgrade to 4G? CNET reported way back in November that the iPad 3 will likely run Qualcomm's 4G LTE Gobi 4000 chip. Bloomberg's recent report on the iPad 3 also cited sources that said 4G LTE capability is likely to make its way to the tablet, and Forbes was on board with this story, too. We're curious to see how long the iPad 3 lasts on a charge with LTE on, as the technology certainly zapped the runtime of other 4G tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on Verizon.

Sources: CNET

Higher-Capacity Battery: More Juice for You

DigiTimes, that constant purveyor of iPad 3 rumors, of course claims to have the skinny on the iPad 3's battery. The site said the next tablet will have an increased battery capacity of 14,000mAH (compared to 6,500mAH for the current version). ZDNet reported a similar story, though there's no word on how much longer the new tablet will last on a charge. Perhaps Apple went this route to offset battery life drain from LTE.

Sources: DigiTimes, ZDNet

Two Versions? High-End and Moderately Priced

DigiTimes made waves when it added a new twist to the iPad 3 rumor mill: Apple may release two versions of the device, one higher-end model and one moderately priced option. (The story in question has since been restricted to site subscriber access only.) Other outlets, including Appolicious and iPhone 5 Features, fanned the flames by spreading this report. We believe that its more likely that Apple will simply drop the price of the existing iPad 2 and keep the iPad 3 as the higher-end model, but we'll have to wait and see.

Sources: Appolicious, DigiTimes, iPhone 5 Features

iPad 3 Rumor Roundup: 8 Things You Need to Know