There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: a confirmed date. Rumors have been swirling for the past few months on when Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) would take the wraps off its latest iPad, with speculation ranging from Steve Jobs' birthday of Feb. 24 or potentially March 7 as the date to circle on the calendar.
Apple has now sent out official invitations to the media for the event, which is slated for March 7 in downtown San Francisco at one of its standard venues. The invite's tagline makes no mistake about it: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."
Source: The Loop.
In that image, you'll notice that Apple has effectively confirmed that the device will boast a high-resolution Retina Display, which is much sharper than the standard display on existing iPads.
The tablet is expected to see each screen dimension doubled to 2048 x 1536, quadrupling the number of pixels in the display. At 264 pixels per inch, though, it wouldn't be quite as sharp as the 326-pixel Retina Display found on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
Chances are that it will be super-speedy, with 4G LTE capabilities through Verizon and AT&T. Sprint Nextel probably won't get it, since that company is still in the midst of transition its 4G network from WiMAX to LTE. The custom ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH ) -based chip inside should either be a rumored upgraded A5X or more likely a next-generation quad-core A6.
The camera should see a major upgrade to 8 megapixels from the iPad 2's lackluster shooters, and I'm hoping that OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI ) scored the win, contrary to earlier reports. The image-sensor specialist just reported strong guidance, with some of that optimism attributed to its entertainment division, which includes tablet sales.
Siri should also be included in the device, and I'm on record expecting it to be in every Apple mobile device going forward. That move should eventually benefit Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN ) on the back end, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding the pair's relationship.
The outer body may have minor changes, if any, considering Apple's unofficial adaptation of Intel's famous "tick-tock" strategy -- alternating between major redesigns and incremental internal upgrades between years.
With the rumors now reaching a crescendo, there's not a lot left up in the air other than its official moniker. iPad 3? iPad 2S? iPad LTE? iPad HD? Your guess is as good as mine.
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