If Apple keeps on their regular schedule, which we are sure they will, the iPad 3 will be introduced around the first quarter of 2012. It’s rumored that the new tablet will have a Retina Display, much like the current-gen iPhone and iPod touch.
The J1 and the J2
First, is the rumor that Apple is prototyping two models of the iPad 3. They are codenamed J1 and J2. If the rumor is correct, Apple currently is in the process of testing and doesn’t yet know which model to launch:
The image shown above is part of some iOS 5 codestrings that show the supposed iPad models with their Retina Displays.
It’s also said that the iPad 3’s spec demands, (thinner, Retina Display, improved backlight) have made it difficult to manufacture. Again, these are all rumors. Everyone said the iPhone 5 was going to be a radical new redesign, then Apple announced the iPhone 4S, which was the same design but more under the hood (via9to5Mac).
We are also hearing that DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim spoke with CNET and said, “It’s happening–QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There’s three suppliers.” Shim said those three suppliers are Samsung, Sharp and LGD.
Shim also mentioned the possibility of the smaller, 7.85-inch iPad. That’s a little harder to believe, but it’s very possible that Apple is looking into it. We just don’t know if there is an in-between market. Then again, people seem to be enjoying the Kindle Fire. Perhaps if Apple goes for the eBook crowd but touts it as a multimedia device (like the Fire) they will capture the audience they need. That is of course assuming those rumors are even true.