Apple unleashed a new round of rumors and speculation this week as the computer giant distributed media invitations to the formal iPad 3 unveiling at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7.
Tech reporters scrambled to analyze the close-up image of the new tablet and read into the cryptic words on the invite: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."
Combing through the piles of hypothetical improvements, CultureMap has drawn up a composite sketch of what to expect from the new iPad when it drops to the public later in March.
- Better screen: There certainly appears to be a higher resolution screen in the works, something closer to the reportedly "nearly-perfect" Retina Display found on the iPhone 4 and 4S. Most reports suspect a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, twice as much as the iPad 2.
- Better camera: CNET is anticipating at least one HD camera update, presumably for crisper FaceTime video conversations.
- Siri for iPad: The voice-activated personal assistant Siri, an integral app for iOS 5, appears to be making its iPad debut.
- No home button: Judging from the invite, it appears that the round home button has disappeared on the iPad. The button is an essential feature for Siri on the iPhone 4S, leaving many Apple fans scratching their heads.
- Faster processor: Look for better graphics and quicker speeds with Apple's new quad-core A6 processor.
- 4G ready: To the chagrin of you data hogs out there, the iPad 2 maxed out at 3G. The newest tablet, however, should get everyone up to speed 4G style.
- Larger design: To accommodate a longer-lasting battery, Apple is expected to offer a slightly bigger casing. The iPad 2 already lasts up to 10 hours.
- Three varieties: The 9to5mac blog reports that the tablet will come in a Wi-Fi-only edition as well as two cellular versions.
After finalizing a date for the iPad 3 unveiling, Apple topped a market value of $500 billion, firmly securing its place as the world's most valuable company and officially making the computer manufacturer worth more than Poland.