updated 08:00 am EST, Fri January 6, 2012
iPad 3 timeframes outlined in rumor
Claims of the iPad 3 shipping in March were braced on Friday by a rumor that included uncertain claims of a second 2012 follow-up. Apple's tablet would arrive in two months with its rumored 2048x1536 display, Digitimes' anonymous sources said. They also echoed beliefs that Apple would cut the iPad 2 down to $399 to squeeze out other companies who had discounted their own tablets, though in their case due to poor sales.
More controversially, the same tips from part suppliers had Apple shipping an "iPad 4," their informal nickname for it, in October. The "much upgraded" version would purportedly keep the same 9.7-inch screen size, but not much else was mentioned. The sequel would be intended to counter not just a wave of Android tablets likely to show in the fall but a slew of Windows 8 tablets, some of which would be based on Intel's tablet-oriented Clover Trail platform.
The assertions are cast into doubt by Apple's tendency to keep to a once-a-year update cycle for every iOS device, but also by a lack of competition. Apple is still expected to have the majority of the tablet market going into 2012, and neither Android 4.0 nor the crop of processors will necessarily be enough of a leap forward to give Apple a reason for concern.
Similar rumors of a second, fall iPad update had emerged in 2011, but never panned out.