iPad 3 to be announced on March 7

Apple iPad 2With iPad 3 rumors aswirl and a veritable barrage of purported component pictures finding their way to the web, many are guessing that the launch of Apple's newest tablet is imminent, and new whispers suggest that the date will be March 7.

Citing a "reliable source," Apple blog iMore on Monday claimed that the much anticipated iPad 3 announcement will take place on Wednesday, March 7, which jibes with a previous report from All Things D that said an iPad event was being scheduled for the first week in March.

Lending further credence to the new claim is Apple's tradition of holding events such as major product launches on Wednesdays and a recent report that big-box retailer Meijer is offering a deep discount on the iPad 2 "while supplies last."

Anecdotal evidence that Apple resellers run low on stock of a certain product can sometimes offer a hint that a replacement or next generation device is soon to arrive.

The new iPad is rumored to carry a high-res Retina Display, possibly manufactured by Sharp, as well as a redesigned case that could allow for a larger battery than current models. It was reported that in order to implement the high pixel density screen, a unique dual LED backlighting arrangement would be needed, and the larger battery could be in response to the extra energy requirements.

Earlier today, photos emerged of an alleged iPad 3 that was almost fully assembled, and purportedly shows some minor design tweaks as well as the speculated QXGA 9.7-inch display.

What remains to be seen is whether the device's expected A6 processor will sport a new quad-core architecture or merely boost the specs of the iPad 2's A5 chip. Also up in the air is whether the new iPad will gain 4G wireless functionality, which will allow the tablet to connect with LTE networks such as those from Verizon and AT&T.

Source: AppleInsider

Tags: Apple, iPad, tablets

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