Last-minute iPad 3 rumors: 4G LTE, ‘HD’ moniker

Mar 6, 2012
Tech

Only one day remains until Apple’s big announcement that most believe will herald the next version of the Cupertino company’s extremely popular iPad line. But with hours remaining, that means there’s still time for a few more rumors to fly out of the mill regarding what we can expect to see from Apple during tomorrow’s […]

Only one day remains until Apple’s big announcement that most believe will herald the next version of the Cupertino company’s extremely popular iPad line. But with hours remaining, that means there’s still time for a few more rumors to fly out of the mill regarding what we can expect to see from Apple during tomorrow’s event.

Those rumors concern a couple of features we’ve been hearing at least something about for some time now: the upcoming iPad’s “Retina” display, and support for 4G LTE cellular networks.

New feature, new name

The Retina display, or a higher-definition screen akin to what’s seen on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, is a feature iPad owners have been asking for since the iPad was first introduced. Rumor has it, Apple is looking to greatly increase the resolution of the device’s screen, and as CNET reports, that means Apple is rethinking how it’s branding the next iPad. The report says we should expect Apple to announced the iPad HD on Wednesday; not the iPad 3.

It’s something of a minor detail with some larger implications. There have been rumblings that the yearly iPad update Apple is preparing to roll out is more incremental than revolutionary, and that the company doesn’t plan to do much with the design of the iPad – just as it mostly left the design alone when it rolled out the iPad 2. The iPad HD name highlights the brand new screen, which is the next iPad’s major selling point, CNET’s report says. But it also suggests that Apple is holding back the name “iPad 3” for an iPad that’s more sequel and less continuation.

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When The Verge reported the rumor, it noted that multiple (anonymous) sources had pegged Apple as going with the new name, so it seems there might be something to this one. It also has been reported that Apple intends the iPad 2 to still be around after the HD’s release.

A faster cell connection

The other rumor comes by way of iMore, which says that the next iPad will also include 4G LTE cellular network capabilities. All three major U.S. cellular providers are working on faster LTE networks, which is the technology commonly seen as the next step after 3G networks.

There has been repeated talk about Apple’s iPhone going 4G LTE at some point this year, although those rumblings have been coming and going pretty much since the U.S. carriers began work on their next-generation networks in earnest. But iMore says the 4G rumor comes on good authority, citing the same anonymous source it says told the publication that Apple was planning its iPad event on March 7, before the invites were sent.

The Wall Street Journal also has reported that Apple is gearing up to dish out 4G iPad and that they’d be available on Verizon and AT&T’s networks. So there’s some corroboration, although Apple is typically slow to adopt a new technology such as 4G, often waiting until the kinks are ironed out before trusting untested services.

Still, it’s an exciting last day before Apple’s announcement. A lot of customers have been asking for the features Apple is rumored to be throwing into the new device, so hopefully they’ll be made happy come March 7.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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