Rumors of an iPad 3, the inevitable successor to the market-leading iPad 2, have circulated for months. This past summer there was speculation Apple might even release the device this year, but as the holiday shopping season came and went, observers have settled on March, 2012 as a likely time frame for the new device.
But wait, that’s not all Apple may have in its near term pipeline. Barclays Capital analyst Ben A. Reitzes thinks Apple might keep the iPad 2 alive by continuing to offer the 16GB version at a lower price than today’s $499 and offer a faster “iPad 2S” that would sport the same display as the current model. Apple reportedly is working on a more advanced Retina Display for the iPad 3.
The news of Reizes’ comments, reported by AppleInsider, comes at a time when Apple is facing its first serious threat in the tablet market by Amazon’s Kindle Fire, though some have argued the Fire competes more closely with other Android-based tablets that are similarly lower cost and have a smaller display than the iPad (7- vs. 10-inches).
Apple could further distinguish the iPad 3 by integrating the Siri voice technology included in the new iPhone 4S designed which lets users employ voice commands to retrieve information and perform various tasks on the device.
The iPad 3 is expected to use a display manufactured by Sharp that uses IGZO technology and features better viewing angles than the current iPad 2 can offer.