iPad rumor round-up: Back-from-vacation editionMarch 6, 2012: 6:14 AM ET
What we know, what we don't know, what the gossip sites are saying today
- Screen resolution: 2048×1536 Retina display seems a sure thing. For a good backgrounder on what Apple means by "retina," see here.
- Case: A leaked video that looks quite legit shows a slightly thicker, more tapered body. That means Apple's magnetic screen protectors will still work, but third party snap-on cases won't.
- Buttons and connector: Despite rumors (here and here) to the contrary, there seems to be a home button and the same old dock connector.
- Prices: A leaked matrix shows shows the same three price points ($499, $599, $699) as before. What's not known is whether the iPad 2 will still be on sale, and at what price.
- Name: iPad 3? iPad 2S? iPad HD? Tuesday's rumors lean toward the latter.
- Processor: Dual core or quad core? 9to5Mac has found references to both buried in the iOS software. Apple will probably go with whichever chipset tested best.
- Radio: 3G or LTE? A rumor site with a hit-or-miss track record claimed Tuesday that the iPad will be the first Apple product to support 4th generation "long term evolution" cellular networking. Bluetooth 4.0 seems a surer bet.
- Camera: 3 megapixels? 5 megapixels? Back only? Front and back? Some improvement over the cheap iPad 2 cameras seems a must, especially given the demands of that new high-res screen.
- Software: It would be a awfully dull media event without some software demos to show off the new hardware. A game or two is probably a sure thing. A new version of iPhoto and an iPad-ready version of Microsoft (MSFT) Office are pretty good bets.
- Apple TV: Apple doesn't like to undercut its main events with secondary announcements, but it could probably slip in an updated Apple TV set-top box capable of handling full 1080p HD video without harshing the new iPad's vibe. The fact that most Apple Stores have run out of the current Apple TV is a sign that something is afoot.
One thing is certain: Whatever Apple unveils is going to be characterized in some quarters as a disappointment. And it's going to sell like hotcakes.