iPad 3 announcement March 7, quad-core, possible 4G LTE

iPad 3 announcement March 7, quad-core, possible 4G LTE

According to sources who have been reliable in the past, Apple currently plans to hold their iPad 3 announcement on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Along with the 2048x1536 Retina display, the iPad 3 will feature a quad-core Apple A6 system-on-a-chip, and possibly 4G LTE networking.

The March 7 date fits with what AllThingsD reported last week, about the next iPad event being scheduled for the first week of March, and Wednesday is a traditional day for Apple to hold these types of events.

Whether Apple would simply improve and optimize the current dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor found in the Apple A5 SoC, or go quad-core has been a lingering question, with 9to5Mac finding code references to quad-core but The Verge hearing otherwise. However, it sounds like they're going quad-core.

4G LTE networking has been another mystery surrounding the iPad 3, with a compatible Qualcomm chipset becoming available, but international LTE coverage is still slim, and in some cases a year or more away. It sounds like Apple has 4G LTE lined up for iPhone 5 this October, but we're still not certain if the iPad 3 will get it earlier. Verizon is going to want iOS devices that go faster than 2-3mbps, of course, especially with AT&T offering HSPA 14.4, and potentially faster, models. Apple could release a 4G LTE variant model, targeted at Verizon, AT&T, Rogers, Bell, and other carriers that have rolled out enough support to see demand, or they could wait and debut it in the next iPhone instead. (No doubt Apple has already decided, it just isn't clear to us which way they went for the iPad 3.)

Other rumors from iLounge have included better cameras, either a 5 or 8 megapixel rear camera and a FaceTime HD front camera. We haven't received any information on these, though any camera Apple includes will have to fit into the thin iPad 3 casing. Likewise, they're probably going to want to keep component costs down low enough to maintain their $499 entry level price tag. (Even if Apple decides to keep iPad 2 around, with a low end, low storage offering at $399.)

Again, these are rumors, and an extract of a lot of information we're still trying to properly sort, but we'll update when and as needed to clarify and correct. Either way, we'll only know for certain when Apple executives take the stage next month to officially announce the iPad 3.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iPad 3 announcement March 7, quad-core, possible 4G LTE


This is the very definition of link bait. Your "source" is as good a guess as any, but the only place where reliable Apple news "leaks" is through controlled messages to All Things Digital. Whoever tipped you off has a good imagination at best.

How do you know the reliability of the source? You don't. In fact iMore were the first ones to post the date of Oct. 7th for the iPhone 4S (which was the first day of preorder) and I'm guessing using the same source.

"It’s important to note that even reliable information is subject to last minute changes by Apple" That there qualifies it as link bait. It takes months to make even a small redesign, and re-tool. Either the source is reliable or isn't. None of this "last minute changes" BS.

Apple changes things at the last minute all the time. They changed the iPhone from plastic to glass screen in 3 weeks. They pulled the camera from iPod touch 3 at the last minute.
Please feel free to disagree, but we're fairly careful about posting rumors here (our last one, on the iPhone 4S launch, turned out to be pretty damn solid).

No, hardware changes for the sake of feature/design are not possible* at this point. Millions of of units have already been produced with many millions of sub-components already in the pipe-line.
If a source knows something they know something. If not, they don't :) The last min. has already passed for this release!
*Sure, if Apple found some critical issue with the hardware they could scrap all of the units already assembled but that is not what we are talking about here I don't believe.

So Renee u r sure about this ifnormation about the iPad-3 release happening on March 7th from your source ha ? And what does this your source say will it be a Dual LED display or will it be a IGZO display by Sharp ?

Removed that line. Now what? Does it substantively chance the veracity of the story? Does it make your comment any more productive or virtuous? Does it draw the iMore community into any better debate about a device we're all waiting for?
iMore worked really hard to get and vet this story. What are you bringing to the table?

I agree. Great info. iMore has a good track record, and the article speaks for itself. Link bait wut? Feel free to not believe it. Trust me, the earth will continue to spin on its axis, as planned.

Theres a reason I come to imore. They give you accurate information. When the iPad 3 event is this close there's always rumors and speculation but there's many things pointing this to be what the iPad 3 will offer. Great post and keep it up imore!!

I've been following this site for 4+ years now and never known them to link bait as you say. You want link baiting go to BGR.

Can you read, it says accoring to sources who have been reliable in the past
They arn't stating ANYTHING about the current reliability of the source, simply stating in the past, they have been reliable.

"iPad 3 announcement March 7..." the title is the biggest link-bait I've seen! It makes readers feel as if Apple has announced March 7 as iPad launch date. hah!

it doesnt its just a fancy maxi pad you can touch, uwhtoit getting nasty residue on your hands or other anatomy i suppose if you are into that

This makes sense. Apple's first device for Verizon was the iPad1 - with CDMA in it... giving Apple a chance to get their feet wet with CDMA & data before releasing the iPhone4 on Verizon. And the October release for the next iPhone also makes sense - because that also happens to be when people who jumped on the iPhone4 will be 20 months into their contracts, and...as is typical with Verizon - eligible to get a new phone and renew a contract... and, by October, much of Verizon's network will have LTE available to make it worthwhile for Apple to do.

Thank you for your posts and for what you are doing here! Admirable work and much success in your bsiuness dealings! Please excuse my poor English as it is not my first tongue.

October release of the next iPhone? Say it ain't so, Joe! LTE doesn't really concern me on this one because I'll be getting a wi-fi only model. But all the other things have me going from a 64 gb 2 to a 16 gb 3, wi-fi only both. Am I wrong?

I know, I hate waiting for the END OF THE FRIGGIN YEAR for a new phone, having skipped out on thr 4S. But, contract is up in December, so less out of pocket. But the waiting! Come on! :)

How is it link-bait? This is the information we received, we know it to be reliable, we published it.
We have a great reputation when it comes to this kind of info, so feel free to disagree, but just calling it link-bait is easy, and frankly cheap.
Make a case.

Because its not official, and yet your headline implied that it was official. Had your headline said "Sources confirmed..." or "Sources say" then I would have no qualms with it whatsoever. Don't play dumb Renee, I've read your site enough, and listened to your podcasts enough to know you knew that was walking the edge. You felt really really good about your sources, no problem, and they are probably right, but still you've been around enough to know better. Don't justify it just because other sites would phrase it as though it was an official announcement to generate more hits, your better than that.

I for one only clicked because I though it was official. Sorry Rene, I feel it was not your intention, but he's got a point.

We phrased the title the same way everyone from the Wall Street Journal to other blogs phrased similar stories they break?
AT&T, and Verizon LTE, for example? "Verizon, AT&T To Sell 4G iPad"
I'm going to give you guys the benefit of the non-trolling doubt, but you're making it tough at this point.

I read on www.aussie4g.com that LTE is probably coming to the iPad3, and how that's going to benefit Android and other devices aswell - because Apple wouldn't release LTE until it's ready!
LTE seems a good chance
Quad-core seems a 50/50 bet
Retina display is the other one which seems pretty consistent
And can you change the site back to www.tipb.com now Renee? lol, I refuse to update my bookmarks to iMore!!!!

And guys lay off Renee, this is hardly link bait. The biggest tech news story of the first half of this year is going to be iPad 3, and rumours are part and parcel of any Apple release.

Great job iMore! Hope this turns out to be true. Of late there seems to be some confusion about the processor, I hope Apple doesn't dump the quad core at the last minute.

Jim Dalrymple confirmed the date with
a "yep". Rene your sources are really good.

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Your source seems to have the correct date.
Jim Dalrymple has an impeccable track record when it comes to Apple Events. If Jim says an event is (or isn't) going to happen on a specific date, you can take that to the bank.
He linked to iMore's article, and confirmed it.http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/02/13/ipad-3-event-pegged-for-march-7/
Now about the juicy details. I'm very excited about a retina display and a faster processors. I'm torn about LTE. I'm not sure if LTE is even available where I live. Is LTE even available in any countries outside of the US? I'm not sure how much worldwide appeal that feature would have.

LTE is popping up all over the world, and is the future. The Verizon CDMA iPhone - now that's something with zero worldwide interest!

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"He linked to iMore’s article, and confirmed it."
He did no such thing. Posting the single word "Yup" is not confirmation, it's simply agreement.

Agreement implies confirmation. What, pictures or it wasn't real? Or you think he just made a random gurgling sound and they transliterated it.

Just glad to hear positive things once more on the retina screen. Let's hope they can't change that last minute.

iMore(TiPb) was right about the 4S of October 7th preorder. iMore was right about what the 4S was going to be called and what specs that we would be seeing. I am sure they will be right again about iPad 3. iMore doesn't just post any rumor. They tend to have confidence behind what they are posting.

It will be interesting to see how much of this transpires. If all (except 4g LTE) i will probably upgrade and iPhone 5 in October, Ripper, my contract finishes in September. Two in one year.

Jim Dalrymple has posted a link with a "yep". So it's money in the bank. Good work iMore!

I think there is a good chance of quad-core happening. The 4G LTE I'm not sold on. Tim cook is a number logistics guy so he will look at this a certain stand point. Currently there is 3 iPad 2 variants. They all have the base 16, 32 , and 64gb models. Then you have wifi version, AT&T 3g, and Verizon 3g versions. Would they really add 4G LTE varients with the possibility of a HSPA+ model. Then you have to think about how Sprints 4G LTE will advance in the next 6-12 months. I think iPhone 5 had a good chance of 4G LTE especially when 4G LTE has gone main stream globally.

Given these quad-core, four-times-the pixels specs, there's no way they'll sell many iPad 2s for $399 if they have an entry iPad 3 with those specs for $499. It's twice the tablet for just 25% more. The year or more of added service life alone would justify paying that additional $100
If it remains around, this (probably) 16 Gb iPad 2 will need to be between $299 and $349. The former price would give Amazon much grief and wipe out most of the competition.

Extrapolating 2 years, maybe Apple could sell the low-end iPad 2 for $299 in 2013, the low-end iPad 3 for $399, and the iPad 4 for the usual $499. That would put the hurt on any and all low-ball competition.
Apple will win the "race to the bottom" while maintaining their margins, thanks to their economy of scale plus the general trend of component costs dropping.

Nice, brave scoop Rene!
Little typo in the first sentence. You say Apple 6 system-on-a-chip. It's Apple "A6". You're missing the "A". These kind of things must drive you nuts as iMore probably double checked this post thrice over and no one caught it!
Still amazing that nobody has said anything substantial about the GPU. The GPU will take more than half of the die space for this SoC, but nary a word about it other than "faster". Sounds like it is just an up-clocked 543MP2. Hoping it's 1 GB RAM and 128GB storage! (Really needs 2 GB RAM for apps suited to quad-core).

If the iPad 3 is sporting a quad-core SOC, then the GPU won't be based on the SGX 543MP2, it most likely will be the SGX 543MP4. Overall the details on the A6 SOC is sorta muddy right with some reports saying it'll be dual-core and others saying quad-core.
I agree with you on the RAM requirements, at least 1GB is needed.

They used to. But the last year or two they've changed it to Wednesday for major product releases and Thursday for industry-events like the Education Event where they introduced iBooks Author.

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Softbank, the carrier in Japan which has longest distributed the iPhone, is premiering their LTE network at the end of February--just a few weeks before the rumored release of the iPad 3. 110Mbps downstream, 15 Mbps upstream.

I am seeing a lot of information that says 29 Feb. is that completly off the table now?

We initially heard Apple would be ready to go by end of February, but no firm date for an event. March 7 is the first firm date we heard.
If they're reserving a location to hold the event, like Yerba Buena, they might need to nail down the date earlier. If they're holding it at 1 Infinite Loop, they can probably be more flexible.

I would assume jobs had his hands all over the iPad3 and Apple TV. He also most likely has concepts and ideas that may take years to come to fruition.

I was just googling auornd about this when I came by your post. I'm simply visiting to say that I truly enjoyed seeing this post, it is really clear and well written. Are you going to blog more about this? It appears like there is more material here for future posts.

His last iPad work was definitely the 3. All major tech companies have their future products planned well in advance. The iPhone 5 has already been drawn up. I'd say his last work was the iPad 3. Some say it was the iPhone 4s, but I have read his biography and he endured his hard times with cancer to launch past iPads. He vowed to officials from other companies that he would someday make a tablet, and the last version of it that he dreamed up was the 3.

My iPad 1 serves my needs quite nicely. I was looking forward to the iPad 3 until I heard the screen would be smaller than previous models. In which case if this is true, I have lost all interest in future iPads.

We just have to wait and see I don't think rumors are fair to the company or the consumer as with the Iphone4s, reports everywhere that consumers were disappointed, etc and it turned out to be the best selling smartphone Apple has had. I went out like an idoit and bought a back up battery case before my Iphone arrived because I read that it had battery problems. Wrong, I don't have any battery problems and don't bother with the case. Not saying this site posted this I'm saying I don't like or listen to rumors anymore.

I just bought a iPad 2. If I know for sure that the iPad 3 is coming out around mid march I will take this one back and wait a little while for that one to come out. What should I do?

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