Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blogs to follow for the iPad 3 announcement


We’re just hours away from one of the biggest announcements Apple will make this year. Riding on a tsunami of rumours and speculations, the new iPad will make its global debut in San Francisco at 10AM PST on Wednesday, March 7 or 2AM on Thursday, March 8, our time. We’ll be up to catch the latest and you’re up for it here are the live blogs we recommend you follow.
The Verge
Engadget
Gizmodo
Gdgt
Ars technical

Focus will certainly be on the new features and innovations that the new iPad will bring. Punters are definitely not short on ideas on what to speculate. Some of the more prominent ones include:
The name: Reports claim that the new iPad will not be called the “iPad 3” as largely thought but rather will be called the “iPad HD” due to the high-res display. Our prediction: Apple is going to stick with the numerical moniker for the new iPad. Adding “HD” into the name goes against Apple’s overly simplistic approach towards everything and it also suggests a different product family. If there’s an iPad HD then there can also be a non-HD iPad and that’s just too fussy for Apple.
A high-res display: This is an almost certainty. The new iPad – whatever it will be called – will very likely feature a high-resolution display, possibly with a resolution of 2048 X 1536 pixels. On a 9.7-inch screen that resolution will give a PPI count of about 264, well below the 326 PPI density of the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and 4S but much better than the current iPad 2’s measly 131 PPI pixel density. The higher resolution screen should make the overall usability experience of the new iPad much better but packing more pixels into a display panel is not really ground breaking either. Our prediction: Yep, this is pretty much forgone conclusion considering Steve Jobs’ obsession with pushing the boundaries of display technologies to offer the best viewing experience possible. Expect this obsession to continue with the post-Jobs Apple as well but don’t expect Apple to call it Retina Display.
Two iPads better than one: Rumour has it Apple will also introduce a smaller 7.85-inch iPad alongside the standard 9.7-inch version. The smaller iPad is apparently developed to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Our prediction: Nope, not going to happen. Again, Apple wants to keep their product line-up as simple and as distinct as possible (minimal overlaps) hence Apple doesn’t need a smaller iPad. Also, a smaller iPad will mean OS fragmentation. Apple and app developers will have to develop different apps and interface for the small iPad and that’s not on.
The new will look like the old: Leaked parts of the new iPad suggests that it will look virtually identical to the iPad 2 except that the new iPad will be slightly thicker to accommodate the high-res display and possibly an LTE chipset. Our prediction: Almost certain. The new iPad will look just like the old one and it could very well be thicker but we don’t think the additional thickness will be noticeable thanks to a careful and clever tapered design.
Quad-core performance and a vastly improved GPU: The new iPad is said to feature a new A6 processor with quad-core performance and a much improved GPU. Our prediction: The jury is still out on this one. There is a possibility of the new iPad packing a quad-core processor but sifting through the reports, this is going to be a long shot. By the looks of it, an improved dual-core processor together with a bump in RAM and GPU performance is a more likely possibility. We’re inclined to go with dual-core.
LTE connectivity: This is not relevant to our market but it is a persistent rumour, so will the new iPad pack LTE connectivity? Well, Reuters certainly think so. In any case it’s not going to make any difference if the new iPad has LTE or not. Our market will get the WiFi and 3G versions anyway. Our prediction: With or without LTE, it doesn’t really matter for our market. LTE networks in Malaysia won’t be publicly available till next year, so even if LTE is available in the new iPad we won’t have a network to use it on till next year. By that time, we might just as well wait for the next iPad.
A better camera and FaceTime HD: Not much report on this and this is mostly our speculation but its pretty logical for Apple to include an improved rear facing camera with possibly 1080p video. We’re thinking the iPhone 4S camera could make it to the iPad 2. The thicker casing would certainly have room for a bigger camera. We’re guessing FaceTime is going to get a bump in quality as well, so FaceTime HD with 720p video could make it to the new iPad – but this is just us guessing.
Siri: For users outside of the US, Siri is mostly a gimmick but it’s an interesting gimmick and if it makes it to the new iPad, we can safely say that the artificial intelligence virtual assistant will be a very compelling selling point. No harm for Apple to include it into the new iPad. Again, we’re guessing this based on the articles we’ve read and our understanding of Apple but Siri on the new iPad will be a big deal to a lot of people.
So that’s pretty much it, our roundup of prominent rumours surrounding the iPad 3/HD and what we think. What are your predictions? Drop your thoughts in the comments section. Also, we’ll be online tonight via Twitter if you want to have a chat.

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