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The last iPad 3 rumor rollup

John Cox | March 7, 2012
So we're done with the Apple iPad 3 (or iPad HD?) rumors, the anonymous sources, the Asian supply chain, the "evidence" that rests on other rumors, and all the rest.

TEST YOURSELF: The Apple iPad Quiz

LTE: No. LTE users are still a relatively small group. Our guess is Apple will let LTE as a market and as a technology mature for another year for iPad (though an iPhone 5 in fall 2012 could offer an LTE option). Instead, look for Apple to continue to support faster and faster 3G technologies, which is what most users are or will be using for some time.

Siri: Introduced as a voice assistant with iPhone 4S and an updated iOS, Siri creates a voice interface that can complement touch nicely on mobile devices. But a mobile phone is held close to your face for voice calls, and even when it's used for data, while a tablet is further away. So importing Siri to the larger form factor may alter the dynamics of the UI interactions. Both in good ways and not so good ways. Our guess: Apple will bring Siri to iPad 3.

Wi-Fi: It's much too soon for 802.11ac, but Apple could surprise us by tweaking Wi-Fi performance, though this probably won't be a major called out feature. It could implement a range of optional 11n features to improve throughput and range. Less likely: a new antenna system -- two receive and two transmit -- supporting two data streams instead of one.

Storage: The top-end model has 64GB. But there's also Apple's iCloud service, where more of your stuff can be parked. Maybe the time, and costs, are right to let Apple drop the 16GB starting model, and create a new higher-end option, changing the final prices or price relationships significantly.

Pricing: Apple will not raise prices. It probably won't cut them either. That's one reason the Apple supply chain discipline is so vital to the company's ongoing profitability -- and one reason to avoid an iPad laden with costly new technology that isn't really needed at this point.

Form factor: We can't see any reason, based on the above points, for more than cosmetic changes to the iPad casing design and certainly no changes in the overall dimensions (a lot of rumors say it will be slightly thicker; but we don't buy that).

 

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