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2/10/2012
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iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want

Apple, as usual, is keeping the tablet's specs under wraps. But here's what we want to see.

Enterprise Tablet Shootout
Enterprise Tablet Shootout
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple hasn't said anything about how the next iPad will differ from the iPad 2. But the company, fanatic in its secrecy, seldom says anything.

Even when Apple has to say something--when addressing investors, for example--it says little, while it promises a lot.

Discussing Apple's iPad business on a conference call for investors in January, CEO Tim Cook made the next iPad sound pretty good, if not insanely great, while not actually revealing any substantive details.

"In terms of other tablets, last year was supposed to be the year of the tablet," Cook said. "I think most people would agree, it was the year of the iPad for the second year in a row. And so we're just going to continue to innovate like crazy in this area. And we think we can continue to compete with anyone that is currently shipping tablets or that might enter in the future."

That's confidence: We can compete not just with present contenders but future possibilities.

Or perhaps it's just hyperbole, marketing by any other name. Lest we forget, Apple is keen to remind us that it is "defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad."

[ Apple's former CEO had top secret clearance. Read Steve Jobs: The FBI File. ]

There are several potential new features that probably won't make it to the iPad 3. Waterproofing, for example, would be nice. But not everyone needs a waterproof tablet, so Apple isn't likely to make everyone pay for this feature. And that's to say nothing of the design changes that would be necessary. Waterproofing would best be handled by an iPad case maker.

LTE communications hardware is another possibility that probably won't make the cut. Low-power LTE chips are only just starting to become available to manufacturers. Apple will probably bring LTE to its iPhone 5 and wait until iPad 4 before implementing LTE in a tablet form factor.

Next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi chips were previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but including them in the iPad 3 seems premature. Apple will probably refresh its AirPort Extreme router with an 802.11ac chip before it begins upgrading Wi-Fi in its devices.

There's ongoing uncertainty about whether the Apple A6 chip that's expected to be in the iPad 3 will have two or four cores. A quad-core A6 could consume more power than its predecessor, which might require a larger battery and/or thicker form factor. Apple would presumably prefer to push its iPad 3 design in the opposite direction. So a dual-core chip could have some advantages.

About the only thing that's almost guaranteed is a Retina display screen, featuring resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, twice the resolution of the iPad 2.

But it won't be long now before we find out what made the cut.

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extsr2001
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extsr2001,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/17/2012 | 7:24:14 AM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
I want it to be reasonable. Right now for what version 2 offers it should be about 50% that cost. So I want the Version 3 to come in under what the current 2 is at.
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2012 | 10:03:23 PM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
Three components on your wish list (better resolution, better camera, Siri) are virtual shoo-ins -- just a little component engineering and software porting. NFC and wireless charging might make the cut, or might not, depending on whether Apple feels they represent a key step forward towards the product's future. Would they have to release iOS 6 with a new iPad? Haven't they de-coupled HW and SW releases?
ANON1241471931665
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ANON1241471931665,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2012 | 2:13:02 PM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
A thunderbolt data transfer port seems like an obvious choice given the rest of the Apple product line is already using that technology to achieve huge data transfer speeds. Transferring the larger 1080p movie files over USB 2.0 isn't going to impress anybody. When I take about 8Gig worth of movies on the iPad2 it often takes more than 30 minutes to transfer them to my MacBookPro over USB 2.0. This is a serious issue as we move into the future where the amount of data we transfer keeps doubling at a rapid and predictable rate.
ANON1253999395131
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ANON1253999395131,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2012 | 4:39:01 AM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
When my iMac went south, I replaced it with a Thunderbolt display and a Mac mini server. Why? Monitors rarely crash. Components do, often. Surprise. The mini is now a powerhouse. And it's cheap to replace. Almost a throwaway when it goes belly up. I expect the Tbolt monitor to last 8 years or more. In this scenario, iMacs are on their way out. My desk is still clear of a bulky boring cpu box. The mini, backup drives, router, etc are nicely tucked away in a ventilated cab under the desk. Outa sight.

My MacBookPro is five years old. Works, but needs replacing. I WANT: an iPad3 or 4 that will snap into a next gen Mac Air. Detach when I want it Pad. Snap in when I want more desk-time power to create with real software and keyboard. I am tired of App Light apps, except for reading on the train, playing idiot games at the airport lounge.
lacertosus
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lacertosus,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/13/2012 | 7:15:10 PM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
How about making it more like open source? How about expandable memory? Maybe ability to play MP3!
ep121
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ep121,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/13/2012 | 5:27:00 PM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
Sounds like the author wants an ASUS Prime 700 series.
kosmic7
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kosmic7,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/13/2012 | 4:41:52 PM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
"About the only thing that's almost guaranteed is a Retina display screen, featuring resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, twice the resolution of the iPad 2."

Actually, that would be *4 times* the resolution of the iPad 2. 1024x768 is 786,432 pixels. 2048x1536 is 3,145,728 pixels. The iPad 3 will have 4 pixels for every single pixel the iPad 2 has. Should be HUGE improvement.
TogetherinParis
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TogetherinParis,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/13/2012 | 3:51:26 PM
re: iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want
Multi-GPS would be nice (using European and Russian satellite location). How about a NON-GLARE SCREEN?
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