iPad 3 with LTE, Quad-Core Processor and Retina Display Set for March Launch
Bloomberg briefly reports that Apple's manufacturing partners have indeed begun on production of the iPad 3, with a ramp-up to full capacity taking place by February ahead of a March launch for the device. The report corroborates circulating rumors that the iPad will offer a quad-core processor and sport a high-resolution "Retina" display. The iPad 3 is also said to offer 4G LTE support for faster data connectivity on the go.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s next iPad tablet, due in March, will sport a high-definition screen, run a faster processor and work with long-term evolution wireless networks, according to three people familiar with the product. [...]
The tablet will use a quad-core chip, an enhancement that lets users more quickly jump between applications, two of the people said.
Japanese blog Mac Otakara reported nearly identical information earlier this week.
Rumors have been split on whether the iPad 3 will be slightly thicker, thinner, or the same form factor as the iPad 2, with those rumors apparently depending on whether Apple has been able to adopt Sharp's IGZO technology that would allow for a thinner display. While some sources have indicated that Sharp's displays are making the cut for the iPad 3, others have claimed that Sharp failed to win approval from Apple and that a slightly thicker form factor may be required to accommodate a dual light bar design to support the high-resolution IPS display from Samsung and LG.
Update: Bloomberg has now updated its article with additional information on the new features:
Apple is bringing LTE to the iPad before the iPhone because the tablet has a bigger battery and can better support the power requirements of the newer technology, said one of the people.
The new display is capable of greater resolution than the current iPad, with more pixels on its screen than some high- definition televisions, the person said. The pixels are small enough to make the images look like printed material, according to the person. Videos begin playing almost instantly because of the additional graphics processing, the person said.
Sources note that Foxconn's factories will be running 24 hours a day to produce the iPad 3, with a break later this month for the Lunar New Year holiday being followed by an acceleration to full capacity in February.