Tech websites and blogs are currently abuzz with speculation about the iPad 3 release date and the possible specs and features. The last two generations of the device have clearly whetted the market’s appetite for another device that is expected to have a superior set of features. For our readers’ sake we decided to sift through the huge mass of wish-list features and list out only those specs that seem most likely. These are based on Apple’s ability to keep pace with market expectations and its association with OEM partners.

Processor – expect a quad-core

If you have used the iPad 2 which is powered by an A5 CPU, then you can look forward to faster processing. The new device could feature the A6 quad-core thus upping the speed factor. Apple’s ARM partners Qualcomm and Nvidia have already announced their quad-core designs indicating strong possibility that the iPad 3 will ship with one such processor.

RAM – above 512MB

As most iPad users do multi-tasking, it makes sense to increase the RAM count in order to ensure usage stability. iPad2 has 512MB and the company only wishes to take the device to the next level.

Screen size – no change but…

You can expect two versions of the iPad 3 – one with a 9.7in and another with an 8in screen.

Display – what’s new

According to various reports, some of them reliable, Apple is currently testing out new screens with 2048 x 1536 resolution. Word going around also suggests that Samsung has been commissioned to make AMOLED screen for the iPad 3.

The device will also have to include a dual LED lightbar to facilitate the super-high pixel density and balance the consequent brightness.

The 2048 x 1536 display resolution with a 4:3 ratio will be complemented by support for quad-extended graphics (QXGA) allowing HD viewing pleasure.

Gesture Controls – spec or speculation

If the iPad 3 is to be a superior generation in the series then a feature like gesture controls would not be too fancy for the gadget. A kinect-style visual sensor and controls would complete the set of specs & features.

NFC chip – a must-have

Near Field Communications technology is something every user will want as it enables them to pay for retail goods and services, (e.g. paying at a Mac outlet) simply by waving the device across a reader. So it is reasonable to expect the iPad 3 to include NFC support.

8 MP camera – Chinese site shows “proof”

iPad3: most likely features of a most anticipated device
iPad 3

iPad 2 has a 0.7 MP camera but now users want Apple to go do better. An 8MP camera would be everyone’s delight. But has Apple actually included it in the next iPad? If you go by Chinese website’s report and pix, then the iPad 3 “already has” an 8 MP camera. Take a look. (Observe that the pix only show the back of the device.)

HD front camera – asking for too much?

We cannot vouch for the next statement (possibly a rumor) which says the iPad 3 could have a High Definition front-facing camera to use FaceTime HD video chat.

Storage – nothing less than 128GB

Feedback from developing countries has indicated the need for more storage capacity in such hybrid devices. Hence, Apple will have to go beyond its current 16/32/64GB options.

LTE support – for 4G connectivity

iPad 3 could also have LTE support for users in countries with 4G connectivity. The most trusted site has reason to believe that the device will ship with Qualcomm 4G LTE 4000 chip. Besides, telecom majors AT&T and Verizon are believed to have announced they will sell a version of the iPad 3.

Siri – sure to spice it up!

Apple’s speech-controlled personal assistant could add to the overall appeal of the device. This digital assistant contributed immensely to the success of iPhone 4s. Siri is hugely popular among users as it is programmed for things like texting, entering calendar events, taking dictation, answering general knowledge queries and replying with smart comebacks.

iOS 5.1 release to coincide with iPad3 launch

the iOS 5.1 is slated to be past its beta stage and ready for business around the same time as the iPad 3 launch – March –April 2012. So the devices would be released with an iOS 5.1 update.

Thunderbolt port – forget USBs

The last two iPads didn’t have any USB ports. The iPad3 may likewise avoid USBs. Instead, it might have a Thunderbolt port that was featured and appreciated in last year’s MacBook Air and MacBookPro. This connector is fast gaining popularity for its combination of accessory, display and performance speed.

That’s about it. That’s a more or less comprehensive picture of what to expect in the next iPad. And knowing Apple, we can be sure the actual features would only turn out to be better, not worse, than the specs & features discussed here.

By Rajeev Rana

Founder and Chief Editor -