What will iPad 3 look like?

The iPad buzz is starting again. Citi analyst Richard Gardner provided his view recently on an upcoming update ( though not much on details)

Then there’s another one on suppliers struggling with newer type displays

and there are more. I guess a 2012 Q1 launch is starting to look like a given, especially given Apple’s track record of launching the new stuff on the flagship iPhone and then taking it to other platforms. And if one looks at Apple’s existing design/ component wins, it becomes evident that the iPad 3 will almost certainly have-

 

– The Retina Display

– 8 MP Front Camera with 1080 Full HD video recording

– World tablet- single chipset for GSM and CDMA networks

– 3MP( from 3GS) OR 5MP (from 4) Rear Camera  with video at 30FPS

 

Apart from this( a wish list)

– a newer faster processor – maybe an A6?

– stereo speakers?

– more battery life? -say 13 hrs from the current 10

– more memory at the entry level? – 32 GB instead of 16?

 

and perhaps Siri? – though I think that will be unlikely given that a) they still classify it as a beta on the 4S and b) users may only prefer to speak to a phone based assistant ( talking to an iPad may be a bit awkward). On the software side, could the iPad may integrate via bluetooth and Siri to the iPhone?( now that is wild- imagine saying ‘Call office’ on the iPad and it transmits that message to the iPhone- does anyone really want that?)

 

Perhaps the price point will be impacted- mapping the iPhone ‘family’ to the iPad one and Apple’s percentage reductions for existing iPhones, one could imagine the entry level iPad 2  at $299 while the iPad 3 still starts at $499.

 

Model Entry level-memory -GB Old Price $ Current Price $
3GS 8 99 –> 50′ 0
4 16 199 99
4S 16 NA 199
ipad1 16 499 NA
ipad2 16 499 299 2012 forecast
ipad3 16 NA 499

 

 

That will be pretty devastating to the competition! (or whatever exists of that currently!)

 

However Apple may not go with that price point and instead just withdraw the ipad2 from production.

 

From a product variant perspective, the iPad does have many more variants ( wifi only  & 3G+wifi – 3 models each) to the iPhone, so it could end up actually costing more to support 2 product variant families.

 

Anyway there is no real need to discount. Unlike the smartphone market, things are not exactly heating up in the tablet market. Apple is the dominant player. On the other hand if Amazon’s Kindle Fire does take off, it will be a different dynamic.