The Next iPad, A Fearless Forecast

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March 7 is oh so near,
HP, Asus and Samsung are probably trembling in fear.
Apple is getting ready to hype up the thrill
Time to brace ourselves for the next big thing.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen – March 7 is fast approaching. The follow-up to the mighty iPad 2 will soon be unveiled, and all we could do now is to make up some rumors or declare how it looks, feels and performs. Today, allow me to fearlessly predict how the next iPad would look like, perform and be named. Of course, this article will become deprecated once the next iPad is finally unveiled. Well, it’s just me – a geek, having fun. Who knows? Come March 8, 2012, we’d all realize that I could be right after all.

The Next iPad’s LOOK

The iPad 2 looks good. It was carefully and beautifully designed. I praised it in my review last year and even dubbed it as the sexiest tablet. Being thinner by 4.6mm and lighter by 80 grams compared to the first iPad, it is undoubtedly a big leap when it comes to aesthetics department.

The next iPad though would be far superior to the iPad 2; superior not in terms of thinness but in terms of lightness. It will be lighter by 35 grams compared to the iPad 2. This means that the next iPad is just 566 grams, thanks to its lighter and more slender battery. It is just lighter by 150 grams than your Sony Bravia TV Remote.

[stextbox id=”info”]Multiple reports rumors say that indeed, the next iPad will neither be bigger nor smaller than the iPad 2. However, in a leaked video by M.I.C. Gadget, the next iPad 3 appears to be slightly thicker.[/stextbox]

Design-wise, the size of the next iPad will be similar to that of the iPad 2’s. Height and width will still be 241.2mm by 185.7mm. As pointed out earlier, depth (or kapal) will still be 8.8mm. It will still have a 9.7-inch display. But the real shockers are the following:

  1. Nosebleed time: Say Goodbye to In-Plane Switching (IPS) Display, Say Hello to indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO). According to GigaOM, the big switch from IPS to IGZO would “provide benefits in terms of energy consumption, cost reduction and improved resolution.” Simply put, with IGZO display, you’ll be able to use your next iPad longer and better.
  2. The resolution is upgraded from 1024 x 768 pixel to 2047 x 1536; pixel density is twice better too at 264. Yes, to make things easier to understand – Retina Display on the iPad. Text would look clearer and pictures would look more vivid. Play your favorite games at higher resolution to your heart’s content.
  3. Steve Jobs never liked physical buttons. The lesser the buttons, the better. Killing the physical Home button is definitely a drastic move, but Apple needed to sack it off to carry on Jobs’ long-term plan. The Home button won’t be completely gone though. It will be replaced with the capacitive Home button, much like similar with the Windows Logo on new Windows Phone.
[stextbox id=”info”]3rd point is quite over the edge. It felt good. Another shocker is that the next iPad may use the Senseg E-Sense Technology that, According to The Guardian, “appears to give texture to a touchscreen.”

Photograph: Charles Arthur for the Guardian
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The Next iPad’s PERFORMANCE

Undeniably, the next iPad will be the embodiment of a true beast – fast and furious.

The next iPad will not have the A5x processor. It will have the A6 Quad-Core processor, decently clocked at 1.5Ghz with 1gb RAM. You are probably expecting a couple of Gigahertz, but putting it into the heart of the next iPad might derail Apple in its usual and perfect launch price-point. Simply put, an additional .5 Gig to 1.5 might significantly increase its price to $599 from the usual $499 to $529 launch price. This means that the 16gb variant of the next iPad will be priced at $529 or around PhP23,000 – PhP25,000.

A6 Quad-Core Processor

The RAM upgrade from 512mb to 1Gb is a significant upgrade especially now that site loading, applications and games are getting more demanding. It is important to note that RAM is relevant when reloading web pages, switching from one tab to another and multi-tasking application and games (continue using an application from a dumped-stated or paused-state).

[stextbox id=”info”]This is kind of confirmed by Chronic Wire. In their article, Chronic was able to compute the ram by interpreting the leaked photo by BGR. He was referring to the line of code — “vm_page_bootstrap: 244276 free pages and 8396 wired pages” — from which he finds the RAM details:

“So, just do some simple math: 244,276 (pages) x 4,000 bytes (size of a page) = 977,104,000 bytes = 977MB”

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The Next iPad’s Moniker

The Next iPad will be called the iPad 3, not iPad 2s or iPad HD. The last 2 don’t just fit and do not conform with the long-term plans of Apple.

The logic is that the iPad cannot and will not share similar fate as the iPhone’s because it caters to a different need and timing. The iPhone will always have an ‘in-between’ variant (like iPhone 4 to iPhone 4s before iPhone 5) in consideration to carrier plan subscribers. For instance, iPhone 4s’ market are not those who purchased the iPhone 4, but those who purchased iPhone 3gs 2-years ago. This will not happen with the iPad.

Here’s an illustration of the fate of the Apple’s iDevices this year. This also clearly shows why the iPad 3 is called as such:

[stextbox id=”info”]Rumors say that the next iPad may be called iPad HD. I ruled this out above since Apple’s naming convention for the iPhone may not be applicable to the iPad. However, if this were conclusive, Apple is probably setting a different naming trend exclusive to the iPad. It’s also possible – although I find this funnier – that it will be called iPad Pro.[/stextbox]

The iPad 3 will have Wifi and Wifi + 3G/LTE variants. Pre-order can be done right after the March 7 annoucement, and customers who pre-ordered will receive it by March 29 onwards. CDMA versions will also be available by May 2012.

[stextbox id=”info”]Reports also say that the iPad 3 will hit shelves by March 16.[/stextbox]

You shouldn’t believe everything I said. The real deal will be known by March 8, 2o12 (at 3am here in the Philippines). But come one – that would be 6 days from now. Anyway, isn’t it fun to pretend that we’re Tim Cook, Scott Forstall, Jonathan Ive and Bob Mansfield for a day?

Pretending to be an Apple Exec Like a Sir

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