A few months ago I made a promise to you guys that I wouldn’t be writing any iPad 3 release date prediction rumors, unless I thought them to be realistic. If you can remember, at the time, rumors floating around were promoting the idea that we could see one in time for the holiday season this year. I always maintained that this was ludicrous. The iPad 2 is by far the best selling tablet, and with 60% of the tablet market covered, iOS is the most popular platform. While the device was selling so well, and proving its dominance, there was no way Apple would release an update before the busiest quarter of the year. Tonnes of people have purchased iPads, tonnes more will buy them as Christmas presents.
The latest rumor comes from DigiTimes, a publication in Asia with close links to the manufacturing lines. It says that we will see a new iPad, sporting a thinner design and a better battery in March next year. The tablet will allegedly by a minor update (could this mean, no 2x resolution display?). My issue is with the details within the article. According to the site, this is not a “full iPad 3″, more like a “2s” with the full “3″ coming later on in the year.
“…however, the sources revealed that internally Apple does not view the new iPad product as iPad 3, but rather an upgraded iPad 2 and the real iPad 3 will not be launched until the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest.”
Here’s where I stand: I fully expect there to be a new iPad launched next year. If Apple sticks with its usual 12-month cycle, it will be around March/April time. There will NOT be two iPads released in the same year. If Cook and his crew are planning a super-duper iPad 3 and it’s not ready yet, they’ll just wait until later on in the year, like they did with the latest iPhone. When does Apple ever release two of anything in the same year? It’s never happened with the iPhone, iPad, or iPod models. Apple has always spent a considerable time developing new, redesigned products. We saw it with both the iPhone 3G-3GS and the iPhone 4-4S. It takes roughly 2 years for Apple to design products with new form factors, and major hardware refreshes.
I also find it odd that there’s no mention of a new display for the next generation iPad. It’s had the same one since day one, and needs to be updated to stay ahead of the competition. But what do you think? Will Apple stick with the usual March launch? Do you think it needs a major update, or is a slight improvement on the iPad 2 enough?