Most iPad enthusiasts are expecting the launch of the iPad 3 at Apple's major event on Wednesday, but Mashable's Chris Taylor claims that if one rumor is true, it's that the new tablet will be the 'iPad HD,' not the iPad 3.
Taylor acknowledges that such claims need to be made with caution, especially over a product that is surrounded by hundreds of rumors, every one with the possibility of being wrong. But in this case Taylor is depending on the word of a trusted source.
"Sometimes, just sometimes, you get a hot tip from a good source with an unblemished track record. It confirms something you've been feeling in your gut for days, and you start scribbling down all the reasons why it would make sense," Taylor says.
"That's what happened Monday, and that's why I'm prepared to cast caution aside and call it: The device we'll be watching Apple unveil on Wednesday is called the iPad HD, not the iPad 3," he added.
The iPad HD has been spinning in the rumor mill for some time, but only recently has it become the favorite speculation for the next-generation tablet.
Rumors initially surfaced after an alleged leaked inventory obtained by Gizmodo showed the name "iPad HD" instead of "iPad 3," and later sources at CNET and Venture Beat backed it up.
The name iPad HD makes sense for the next-generation iPad. The pressure is on for Apple to stand out. A name change could be an effective marketing tool that highlights the tablet's rumored retina display, and breaks the predictable number model for Apple gadgets.
High Definition speaks to every language in the digital age. People may not understand the difference between 720p and 1080i video, or even know what a retina display means, but most people understand the difference in the quality of resolution.
According to Taylor, the current pattern of rumors matches the activity that surrounded the iPhone 4S ahead of its release date. Reports flooded in that the iPhone 5 was the wrong name for the product, but they were mostly drowned out by rumors of the new iPhone's rumored features.
Here's the Latest Roundup of Rumors
One of the latest iPad 3 rumors is that Apple will release an 'iPad Mini' after the iPad 3. According to the Digitimes, the Apple supply chain has started delivering samples of 7.85-inch iPads, with mass production likely to start in the second half of 2012, according to sources.
The price of the smaller, entry model iPad will likely be $249-$299, according to the tech blog. Apple is also rumored to be releasing an 8GB version of the iPad 2.
Here is a round-up of some of the rumors surrounding the tablet ahead of the upcoming release date:
The iPad 3 will likely come with a more powerful chip, perhaps the quad-core A6 chip. The first-generation iPad came with an A4 Chip and the iPad 2 followed with an A5 chip, which suggests the iPad 3 will follow suit and run on the A6 chip.
An A6 chip would double the power of the A5 chip that is currently used in the iPhone 4s and the iPad 2. An unnamed source, who claims to have an iPad 3 prototype, sent Boy Genius Report pictures of a diagnostic tool called iBoot, which states a chip model number that appears to be that of the A6 chip.
The iPad 2's camera is another feature of the tablet that has come under strong critique, sporting a feeble 0.8 MP. The iPad 3 has a long way to go if it wants to compete with other tablets like the ASUS Transformer Prime, which currently boasts an 8MP, 3264 x2448 pixel, auto-focus, LED flash camera.
The iPad 3 will likely come with a much-improved camera, matching the quality of the 8MP camera of the iPhone 4s or better. The iPhone 4S not only improved its pixel capacity by 60 percent compared with its predecessor, but it also came with a larger custom lens that heralded a 2.4 aperture. Moreover, the camera boasts advanced color accuracy, face detection and reduced motion blur.
While rumors continue to circulate about the possibility of two iPad 3 models -- one cheaper than the other -- it is likely there will only be one, which will fall under the same price range of its predecessor at $499 for its entry level model. The iPad 2 will likely drop to $399 and if Apple continues to sell the original iPad it will probably start at $199.
The iPad still falls among the more expensive tablets in the industry; the Amazon Kindle Fire is priced at $199, while the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet came in at $249.
It's difficult to predict if the iPad 3 will come with Apple's popular voice assistant that debuted in the iPhone 4s, but it seems more likely than not. Siri is undoubtedly the most appreciated feature of iPhone 4s with her ability to understand voice commands, send texts and find local pizza joints. She was the main reason Apple iPhone 4 customers upgraded to the 4s despite there being little difference in the phones design. The implementation of Siri in the iPad 3 could give iPad 2 owners a similar incentive.
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