The iPad 3 is one of the most awaited tablets in 2012, and is likely to take the tablet market to new heights. The estimated sales of tablets this year is expected to be around 48 million units, with the yet unreleased iPad 3 expected to comprise a major chunk of that figure.
The new tablet is expected to be powered by a quad core processor according to a number of developers who have unearthed quad core support in the latest builds of iOS 5. The rumour mill is also suggesting that the iPad 3 display will be double the resolution of the iPad 2 at 2048×1536 (264 ppi), though not the Retina display of 326 ppi density featured in the iPhone 4 and 4S. Lastly, the tablet is also expected to feature LTE technology for high speed data access. If the iPad 3 ships with LTE, it is quite likely that the next version of the iPhone will also probably come with LTE, which will finally bring both Apple offerings on par with data speeds on offer on high end Android tablets and smart phones today.
LTE technology was readily available for Apple to implement in the recent release of the iPhone 4S, but the company chose not to as it felt that LTE could use a little more time in the market and further testing. Moreover, the inclusion of LTE chips would mean that Apple would have had to redesign the phone to accommodate a larger wireless chip as well as a bulkier battery. The major problem that 4G devices face currently is battery life but it looks like Apple has solved that problem, according to analysts in the industry. The fact that Apple now owns most of the component production processes for its devices including systems design, battery chemistry and software and semiconductors suggests that Apple may have found an internal solution to make LTE more power efficient.
With the current crop of Android tablets in the market and the ones expected to release shortly, Apple will have its hands full trying to maintain its advantage in the tablet market, especially in the face of highly economical options like the Kindle Fire and the B&N Nook. Though these budget tablets have some very real tradeoffs when compared to a full fledged tablet like the iPad, their economical pricing has found favor with consumers who have snapped them up by the millions. Most analysts predict that if the rumours pertaining to the iPad 3 come out to be true, Apple will effectively settle all doubts about its ability to hold on to the top spot.