So, more and rumours about the iPad 3 are appearing as we speak. All big tech-sites are convinced that the iPad 3 will launch in March or at the earliest in late February. No one is really sure about the announcement of the third generation iPad: rumours are ranging from early February to somewhere in March. So, if we assume that the third generation iPad will be announced in February, the first possible date is Wednesday February 1st. This means that in reality, Apple could send out media event invitations starting from this week. So, now my real question to you is: What do you expect from the third generation iPad? And my second question: What do you expect from iOS 6? (most likely to be released in Summer or Autumn 2012). I think iPad 3 will be an important upgrade from iPad 2, but even more important will be iOS 6: what will it bring us, and what will it bring iPad? --------------------------------------------------------------------- What I expect Third generation iPad I expect the iPad 3 to be a huge upgrade over iPad 2. First of all, there will be a 'retina display': a display with four times the resolution of the iPad 2, 2048 by 1536 pixels - reaching an astonishing 264 pixels per inch on a 9.7" display. I also expect the iPad 3 to feature a quad-core processor based on the current Cortex A9 architecture used in the A5, but produced at a 32nm production line (instead of a 45nm production line). More powerful, yet more energy-efficient. So, why do I expect the iPad 3 to feature a quad-core processor? Two reasons: there are lots of rumours about the A6 chip, and most are indicating that the A6 chip will be a quad-core processor. Secondly, Apple is supporting up to four cores in iOS 5.1. The fact that Apple builds support for four cores doesn't necessarily mean that the A6 chip will actually feature a quad-core processor, but I think that - in combination with all these rumours - they will. RAM wise I expect 1 GB. First of all, a retina display just requires more RAM. Secondly, it would be a waste if the quad-core processor would be limited by the amount of RAM. And besides that, what about iOS 6? I think Apple will surprise us with iOS 6, and I hope they go for optimal performance. GPU wise? I seriously don't know. Apple could decide to keep using the same GPU as in the iPad 2. I hear you thinking: "Unlikely." - Well, think about it. Apple did the same with the iPhone 4: the iPhone 4 had to push four times as many pixels as the iPhone 3GS, yet they both had the same GPU. It's also possible they go for a quad-core GPU (the A5 chip is using a dual-core GPU) to improve performance. The third possibility is that they are going to use a GPU based on the PowerVR 6-series (instead of the PowerVR 5-series). It's unlikely, but not impossible. Design wise? There is really no way to tell. In the past two months, I've seen three rumours: a thinner design, the same design with the same thickness and a slightly thicker iPad with the same design - and all these rumours are based on prototypes dating back around June 2011. It is very well possible they keep the same design. It's also very well possible the iPad 3 will have a brand new design. It's also possible they keep the same design, but are going to use something else than aluminium (which would basically mean that the iPad 3 gets a new design, yet it doesn't). As for now, I'm assuming the iPad 3 will get the same design as the iPad 2 yet slightly thicker - this way I won't be disappointed. GLONASS and bluetooth 4.0. This seems like a no-brainer to me. iPad 3 will support GLONASS next to GPS, and bluetooth 2.1 will be replaced with bluetooth 4.0. Camera upgrades? The current iPad 2 cameras are really terrible, and pictures look really pixelated. If the iPad 3 does get a retina display, than they just must upgrade the cameras - otherwise all pictures will look even worse. I expect FaceTime HD for the front facing camera (just like on the Macs), and expect an improved rear-camera. Storage upgrade? I'm not really expecting anything here, but I could only hope that Apple is going to double the storage: $499 32 GB, $599 64 GB and $699 128 GB. If the iPad 3 gets a retina display and better cameras, which will result in bigger pictures (and thus bigger file sizes), bigger application sizes and bigger movie sizes (because now you put Full HD movies on your iPad) than a 16 GB model would be just too little. The LTE rumour: I don't expect LTE support. LTE is only supported in very small parts of the world. Sure, the United States has a decent LTE network, but remember: how many people will be buying the 3G/4G model? And how many of those people will be on Verizon's LTE network? And if AT&T is supported, how many on AT&T's network? And how many will choose for LTE if 3G is cheaper? Adding LTE would only mean adding extra weight and costs, and only a very small part of the public will actually use it. iOS 6 I just don't know what to expect. I hope iOS 6 for iPad will be more focused on the bigger screen. Look at the multitasking bar: only the very bottom part is used. I'm hoping for some design changes: I'm not asking for a huge overhaul, but I'm just asking to give iOS some new clothes. I also hope iOS 6 will be more focused on the tablet-experience. More specifically: springboard and the lockscreen. The apps and the bigger screen size are the only things that are different from the iPhone. The lockscreen and springboard are just enlarged: I bet Apple could do better here.