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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ipad 3? Not Quite

Everything you need to know about Apple’s 2012, third generation, new iPad, including Retina display, A5X chipset, and 4G LTE connectivity

Apple’s third generation, 2012 iPad, called simple the New iPad was announced on March 7, 2012. It looks virtually identical to the 2011 iPad 2, but its technology is far more advanced. It has a 2048×1536 double density Retina display, a faster Apple A5X chipset with dual-core CPU and quad-core GPU. Likewise, 4G LTE radios are available in the U.S for AT&T and Verizon, and in Canada for Rogers, Bell, and Telus. Battery life remains an astounding 10hrs on Wi-Fi and an equally amazing 9hrs on LTE. The front camera remains a disappointing VGA quality, but the rear camera has bee significantly upgraded to 5 megapixels. While there was no Siri, Apple’s artificially intelligent, voice controlled assistant, the new iPad did get Dictation for voice-to-text.

The new iPad will be available on March 16 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands.

Pricing remains the same as previous generation iPads, with 16/32/64GB models in Wi-Fi for $499, $599, and $699 and 3G/4G LTE models for $629, $729, and $829.

New versions of iOS have traditionally come with new models of iPhone, and while the incremental x.1 version of iOS has traditionally come with new models of iPod touch, there wasn’t one last year (not really) and so iOS 5.1 falls to the iPad 3.

iOS 3.2 was a major new version, bringing iOS to the big screen, tablet style user interface for the first time. iOS 4.2 was fairly big, re-unifying the platform and bringing all the iOS 4 features like multitasking and folders to the iPad for the first time.

The iPad got iOS 5 day and date with the iPhone back in October, however, so we’re probably not looking at anything nearly as profound as the last two years.

iOS 5.1 has yet to go Gold Master (GM), but that will probably happen at the March 7 iPad event, with release to follow a couple of days before the iPad 3 hits stores.

In addition to some small changes already seen in the iOS 5.1 betas, like the ability to delete Photo Stream photos, faster fast camera access, and fixes to some privacy bugs, there are still a few cards left for Apple to play.

With a Retina display screen, the iPad 3 will have a higher pixel count than a 1080p television — 2048×1536 vs. 1920×1080. With a faster processor, regardless of whether it’s dual- or quad-core, it’ll be able to handle video better than ever before. 1080p content just seems like a natural fit, and a great way for Apple to show off that new display and all that new power.

Whether iTunes begins to offer 1080p content, and how much they can offer, how soon, and in how many regions is another question. In some areas, ISP bandwidth caps may prove prohibitive even to an average amount of 1080p content. Likewise, even with 4G LTE, the ability to stream 1080p would likely be extremely limited if not blocked outright.

But having even simple support for local 1080p — however you get it on the device — sounds absolutely reasonable.

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