It's not like we weren't expecting it, but Apple's now made it official. The event is scheduled for March 7th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10AM PST. 

Apparently, the event is about something they would really like us to see, and touch. If you pay close attention to the image, that is definitely not a 1024x768 pixel display, but instead a super-high resolution Retina display as most us have come to expect. Most estimates currently put the resolution at twice that of the original iPad/iPad 2; or at a ridiculous 2048x1536 pixels. That should put the iPad 3's display at 264ppi, which is still shy of the iPhone 4's 326ppi display, but impressive nonetheless. In comparison, the optional high resolution displays on the current-gen 15" MacBook Pros sport a modest 1680x1050 resolution.

Amongst other things, the new iPad should bring with it upgraded internals such as a faster processor; possibly an upgraded SoC with faster graphics and better front and rear-facing cameras. Since Apple never publicly releases the specifications of its SoCs, it would be unwise to comment on the exact nature of the silicon inside the iPad 3 until we can run benchmarks and draw some inferences about the architecture, process node, performance and power consumption of the new chip. It remains to be seen whether Apple offers Siri on the iPad 3 or if it would remain as an iPhone-exclusive feature. However, it would be fair game to expect iOS 5.1 to launch alongside the new iPad 3.

What is certain however, is that the added lure of the Retina display, amongst other things, should keep Apple comfortably ahead of the competition in terms of absolute revenue and unit sales. We can also expect pre-order systems to crash, and long lines outside Apple stores shortly.

If the date on the calendar is any hint, the wait isn't terribly long now. Keep your credit cards ready.

Source: The Verge

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  • tipoo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Is it too early to hope the new SoC will be A15 based? Or architecturally similar to one at least? A quad A9 would be less exciting, as we've seen why.

    Also what about the GPU, it has 4x the resolution to push, a 543MP4 would "only" have double the power. Too early for the SGX 600 series with 20x the raw power?
  • tipoo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    *4x the pixels, not resolution, before that whole war starts again :P
  • A5 - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    I don't think they've had enough time to get an A15 design out. The rumors say the CPU is called the A5X, which would tend to indicate an update to the existing design. I'd guess a beefier GPU and maybe some higher clocks. Quad-core seems unlikely, but you never know. Big news will probably be the new display and an LTE baseband.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    I also read the beta code includes support for two new processors, A6 and A5x, so maybe a slightly faster iPad 2 will be kept as the cheaper option, there's also rumors that the price on the 3 will be $80 higher, so two models would make more sense then.
  • inplainview - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    If you an afford an iPad in the first place are you really gonna bitch about 80 dollars?
  • tipoo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Someone didn't get their juice this morning. How was what I said bitching at all? I just said there was a rumour it might be $80 higher and so there might be two models. Yeesh, relax kiddo.
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    A15 sounds very unlikely. It isn't expected to be shipping until late 2012 (based on TI OMAP 5 schedule, which claims to be the first Cortex-A15 SoC). Most likely what we will see is a 28nm A5 with higher clocks. The new resolution shouldn't be a big issue because graphics intensive apps like games will most likely run at 1024x768, and you won't notice the difference.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    True, true. With the last bump of 9x the theoretical performance I guess I'm spoiled, 2x doesn't sound as good :P

    Still a fair bit ahead of anything on Android so far, and the MP4 would put it in line with the PS Vita (although I know not to underestimate dedicated game hardware and the special APIs and closer developer control in them).
  • zorxd - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    So they will have 2048x1536 9.7" tablets while their 15" macbook pro continues to be only 1440x900.
    Not sure I get this one.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    There are similar rumours for Macbook resolution bumps. If the iPad ones were right (and by now it seems confirmed) than who knows, maybe we'll get insane resolution Macbook Airs and Pros.

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