Opinion

The iPad 3 conundrum

When I first sat down to write this post, it was supposed to be a list of things I thought the iPad 3 was going to have. I was going through all the different things such as the name, size, processor, etc. But then I reached a couple of points and I was having a hard time deciding whether or not they will be in the iPad 3. Those two things are the Retina display and LTE. 

In the first version I had actually written that the iPad 3 won’t have a Retina display and that it won’t be possible for it to run it, particularly in 3D games, even with the updated quad-core processor and if it did the battery life would be shitty. But then I realized that if Apple puts in the display from the current iPad 2, what would be the point of the quad-core processor? Wouldn’t it be wasted running the same device with the same screen with all that power? And the iPad 2 is already pretty powerful so it’s not in any real need for any more power. So if Apple was putting in a more powerful processor there was bound to be a higher resolution display to make use of it. 

And I’m fairly certain there will be a more powerful processor. That’s one thing that Apple almost always updates. The only time I remember Apple didn’t upgrade the processor on its iOS device was with the iPhone 3G and the latest iPod touch. 

Also, if there are concerns of increased battery consumption then there are rumors that the iPad 3 will have a larger battery, indicated by its thicker shell. Not to mention the fact that the new A6 will be more efficient that the A5. So I go back on my previous, unpublished prediction that the iPad 3 won’t have a Retina display, even though I’m struggling with the idea of a mobile processor running a display of that resolution. 

But what about LTE? In my previous post I wrote that LTE will be present in the iPad 3 and it made sense given that all three of Apple’s carrier partners now have LTE networks. But will Apple be able to run a high resolution display, a processor powerful enough to run it and an LTE radio, even with the bigger battery? I don’t see how. 

LTE is an extremely power hungry feature. Smartphones with LTE struggle to last even half a day. Tablets are a bit better off, but those tablets don’t have a power hungry display and processor to leech off the battery. 

Apple already has a major feature on its hands. The Retina display alone will be able to sell the iPad 3. (Heck, they can probably run the iPad 2 for another year and still have people lining up for it.) On top of that they will also be adding Siri, higher resolution rear camera for 1080p video, higher resolution front camera for FaceTime HD. They don’t need LTE to further distinguish it from the iPad 2, which by the way, will also be sold along side as an 8GB model for $399 and $529 (3G). 

So that’s basically my prediction for the iPad 3. Faster processor, bigger battery, Retina display (still not completely sure about this), Siri, new cameras, no LTE and an identical design to the iPad 2, which will be sold at a lower price. Let’s see how much of that turns out to be true. 

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