Sunday, October 21, 2012

Revamped iPad 3 coming with iPad mini: Report

The iPad mini launch event is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23, but is a new iPad coming, as well? We've speculated over this for months, but a new report on Saturday brought the idea to the fore again.

9to5Mac, citing unnamed sources, said that Apple would be releasing a new third-generation iPad ("new" iPad, iPad 3) at the Oct. 23 event, one which would be slightly tweaked. Among the changes expected will be the addition of the new, smaller iPhone 5 / iPod touch dock connector dubbed Lightning.

No pricing changes are expected, meaning that - just as now - the device would ship with $499 / $599 / $699 pricing for storage tiers ranging from 16GB to 32GB, and with a $130 premium if cellular connectivity is desired.

There is also speculation that an updated iPad 3 could address issues with the first-generation Retina iPad screen. That could include improving the LED backlighting system, as well as making the screen lighter. DisplaySearch said the following in September:

"Apple is working with the LCD supply chain to refresh the display, including revising the LED backlight design for cost reduction, refining the thermal solution, reducing the weight by replacing some components, and fine tuning the panel transmittance for lower power consumption."

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There has also been recent speculation that the iPad 3 would be updated with newer LTE technology, enabling it to match the iPhone 5, and support the U.K.'s Everything Everywhere LTE service.

The iPad 3 launched with support for only a few North American LTE carriers.

All of this is speculation, of course. One has to wonder if Apple would risk the wrath of customers who opted in to an iPad 3 only seven months ago by making their devices obsolete. In addition, with a full iPad 4 (or perhaps, "new new iPad") refresh due in about five months, that is still another looming question: would anyone aside from people with extensive discretionary income opt for a tweaked iPad 3?

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