iPad 3: Facts vs. Rumors: Page 3

The iPad 3 may (or may not) have a retina display, quad-core processor, new dock connector and a 3D display. And what about the iPad Mini?
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Better camera

There are a couple of rumors floating around with respect to the cameras on the iPad 3. One says that the camera will be upgraded to be 1080p capable, like the camera on the iPhone 4S, and another says we can expect the camera to feature image stabilization (again, an iPhone 4S feature).

I think there’s no doubt that the iPad 3 will have a camera that’s just as good as the current iPhone 4S.

LTE support

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, and it’s the next-generation of high-speed data wireless communication for mobile phones. In theory LTE sounds great – after all, faster is better, right? Problem is, it has two significant drawbacks.

The first comes down once again to power consumption. While LTE modems have become more power efficient, LTE is still a massive power hog, and adding it to the iPad 3 would put even more pressure on the battery pack.

Even if Apple manages to get its hands on a power-efficient LTE chipset, it’s still not that much of a compelling sell. LTE might be the latest buzzword among the carriers and handset makers, but the technology is only available to a small percentage of users. And for many of them it’s no faster than current generation technologies.

What’s the point of paying for technology that you can’t take advantage of?

Redesigned case

I’ve come across all sorts of iPad 3 case rumors. Some say it will be thinner, others more curved, and others say Apple is going to make it fatter in order to be able to fit in a bigger battery.

Case rumors always seem to be way off the mark, partly because case makers who are being sold fake blanks themselves in order to make molds are fueling the rumor mill.

Redesigned dock connector

We’ve established that if Apple adds more features to the iPad (and for that matter, the iPhone), the battery is somehow going to have to get bigger. One way to do this without affecting the overall size of the device is to miniaturize the components. Problem is, most of them are about as small as they’re going to get already.

However, there is one component that could be miniaturized – the dock connector.

The only real drawback of miniaturizing the dock connector would be that all current accessories would be dead in the water (unless they could be made to work via some kind of adaptor). This might seem like a deal breaker until you realize that you can never guarantee that an accessory built for one iOS device will work on new devices anyway.

It might make it harder for manufacturers to who make things like docks because they’re have to somehow cater for two different connectors, but again that’s not an insurmountable problem.

That said, I still think that the next-generation iPad will have the standard dock connector.

NFC support

There have been rumors that both the iPhone and the iPad were going to be NFC-capable for some time now. Many see NFC as revolutionizing contactless payments and authentication, and claim that iDevices are being left behind if they don’t have this feature baked into them.

Problem is, NFC, or at least the idea behind NFC, isn’t new. It’s the latest in a long line of ideas that never really took off. The problem with contactless technologies like NFC is that they really don’t make life any easier. How is it any easier to whip out your smartphone than it is to whip out a credit card or ID?

The overall advantage that NFC offers is small, and because of this, I find it unlikely that Apple will add NFC to the iPad 3 (or for that matter the iPhone 5).

iPad Mini

Rumors abound that Apple has plans for a mini iPad, perhaps with a 7- or 8-inch screen. These rumors claim that this move is in response to the overwhelming success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet.

Setting aside the fact that Apple rarely does anything as a reaction to what another company does, the biggest problem with small screened tablets is that they … well … suck, and offer a disappointingly poor user experience.

Not only are they more prone to tap errors because the UI (user interface) elements are smaller, but they also suffer because content for mobile devices is optimized for either smartphones or tablets with screens in the region of 10-inches.

I think that it is highly unlikely that Apple will release an iPad Mini.

3D display

Another nonsense rumor.

Would Apple want to shove a 3D display into a tablet? Everyone dabbling with 3D ends up losing money because consumers don’t want 3D, especially the crazy, magic-eye sort of 3D that’s on devices like Nintendo 3DS.

Also, while it is possible to pull off a pseudo-3D effect on a device with a small screen, doing the same thing on a tablet would present huge challenges with little in the way of benefit.

No, not going to happen.

The bottom line

So, what’s the bottom line here?

Well, there’s a lot of rumor and speculation about might be in the iPad 3, but we have very little in the way of concrete ideas. I think a faster processor is pretty much guaranteed, as is the addition of Siri, but beyond that only Apple really knows what the iPad 3 will bring … and right now it’s keeping it well under wraps!

Roll on the official announcement so we can all start speculating about the iPhone 5!

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Tags: iPhone, iPad, Apple, ipad 3

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