iPad 3 on schedule for March release, might include quad-core chipset, LTE

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has begun production of the iPad 3 for an expected March 2012 release.

[iPad 3] will sport a high-definition screen, run a faster processor and work with next-generation wireless networks, according to three people familiar with the product. [..] The tablet will use a quad-core chip, an enhancement that lets users jump more quickly between applications, two of the people said.

The March date is spot on, and the 2042x1536 Retina display screen is an easy bet at this point. Apple could go quad-core with the A6 chipset as competing tablets have recently done, but Apple's integrated hardware/software approach has thus far let them do more with less.

LTE still feels like a wildcard to me. While Verizon has better deployment and AT&T is starting to ramp up, Sprint and T-Mobile are behind and international carriers are hit and miss (and just like 3G GSM, frequencies are not always compatible).

The Retina display and A6 alone will make for a compelling upgrade, but for those in LTE areas, it could make it a no brainer.

Source: Bloomberg

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Rumor or not but Verizon went higher in the last hour of trade...Guess they would indeed reap the benefits first and March is just weeks away. A bit strange that Bloomberg thinks Apple won't announce it during the "education event" next week but at the same time mentions the resolution is so high that it looks like printed material.
    Those who read Steve's biography will remember the idea of replacing textbooks alltogether. It all makes sense now, lets see in six days.
  • Correction : Verizon was trading a bit lower all day and climbed back to level at yesterday's price in the last hour.
  • If this is true, I'll definitely be upgrading from the iPad 2... Using my iPad 2 for photography so the higher resolution display will allow me to leave the laptop at home on shoots.
  • I own a photography business and I used my iPad2 a lot for showing clients photos using the eye-fi card, doing invoices and keeping track of payments with invoice2go, accounting with ireconcile and scheduling appointments with the calendar synced with google calendar. It was an amazing tool for my business, until I got my Transformer Prime.
    My prime does all of the above mentioned things (has all of the apps mentioned above too) and does so much more than the iPad can ever do. The keyboard dock let's me plug in external HDDs or a mouse and the full size SD card reader let's me transfer photos easily to the tablet.
    Here's the best part.. Using a wireless mouse along with the keyboard dock and Splashtop HD, I was able to fully use photoshop while away from my home computer. Keyboard shortcuts worked flawlessly, the speed of splashtop made photoshop completely functional and practical and the mouse made it all come together giving it the feel I was used to on a desktop computer. Sure you can get splashtop on the ipad and use a bluetooth keyboard but without the mouse it just isn't the same.
    I still have my iPad but my eyes have been opened to how closed off apple is about their products. Not only is the OS extremely closed source but the hardware is just as bad. You have to pay extra for an adapter to hook up a camera or SD card and it awkwardly sticks out from the bottom of the tablet. HDMI also doesn't work without buying some ugly attachment and it doesn't support the aspect ratio of EVERY HDTV that was ever made.
  • I would be very surprised if Apple doesn't add LTE ... every single competing tablet will be support LTE.
    The iPad's battery is 6x bigger than the iPhone's, so the drain on battery life will be much smaller on the iPad.
    They only reason I can see for LTE not being supported is if there is no chipset out there that supports the frequency bands needed to make a single "world" device. I think Apple would really like to stick with just two iPad flavours ... with and without cellular capability.
  • I'd be shocked if ipad 3 had LTE. No way. Sorry. Enjoy the HSPA+
  • That retina display is gonna be awesome.
  • I need to filter the term "iPad 3" from my RSS feed until Apple actually releases something concrete.
    It's amazing how much people apparently love Apple-related rumors. To the point of ad nauseam. LOL
  • But I love to laugh at all the people that wish the rumours were true.
  • But I love to laugh at all the people who wish the rumors were true, then when they wind up disappointed in the real product they defend it as if it is exactly what they wanted and it is perfect in every way.
  • Goddamn it i just got my ipad 2 in christmas -.-
  • I have an upgrade coming to me in April. So an iPad 3 while nice is not tops on my list. Now if the announce an iPhone5 at the same time with LTE onboard to. I'll be sold.
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  • I'm waiting for the iPad 4: Retina display, 8-core processor, 1/8" thick, and expands into my own personal Starbucks on demand!