Apple preparing iPad 3, or ‘iPad 2 HD’

July 7, 2011

An iPad 3 could soon be on store shelves. Just don’t expect much difference between it and the iPad 2.

Multiple reports claim Apple is preparing to launch the third iteration of its bestselling iPad tablet alongside the iPhone 5 this fall. But rather than a bona fide iPad 3, this looks more likely to be an iPad 2 HD or iPad 2 and a half. Which doesn’t make much sense, and isn’t really in keeping with Apple’s usual style for releasing a new model of its products once a year around 12 months apart.

According to Digitimes, Taiwan-based suppliers are readying the materials needed to mass-produce the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, both of which are likely to be debuted in September in time for launching in October. Which would be less than six months on from the the release of these two products’ predecessors.

One analyst, responding to the iPad 3 reports, claims this will be more like an iPad 2 Plus, being no different than the iPad 2 except for sporting a high-definition screen with a 2048 x 1536-pixel display, double the resolution of the current model. Would anyone really buy such a product when no one I know has mentioned the resolution on the iPad 2 as being poor in any way?

The only conceivable reason Apple could have for doing this is as an attempt at keeping ahead of the competition. But the iPhone is staying strong despite competition from Android devices, and no other tablet has yet made the grade in terms of quality, usability, features, and pricing. So even that would seem be an unlikely strategy.

Either these reports are all completely untrue or Apple is about to embark on a new strategy that I cannot get my head around. Either way I’d either go and buy an iPad 2 right now or wait until the iPad 3 comes along by the middle of next year. If you want an iPad over all of the other tablets out there, obviously.

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