We’ve been told by a Apple Store source who has been reliable in the past that preparations are being made for a big Apple Store event which will culminate on Friday, March 16th. Naturally, this points to an iPad 3 launch on the Friday just nine days after tomorrow’s announcement. We’ve previously noted that an Apple Store in London at the world famous Harrod’s will open on that date as well as a new Store in Houston, Texas.
Yesterday, two simultaneous reports came out stating the name of Apple’s new product would be the ‘iPad HD’ and recently more and (iM)ore evidence points to an LTE version being announced. Today, Verizon began teasing a “Something is Coming” campaign.
Interestingly, we were told that there would be a subsequent event a week later but he had no further information on the the subject matter. This could be a separate Apple product (AppleTV?) or perhaps additional International launches of the iPad.
We’ll have live coverage of tomorrow’s event as it unfolds.
Reuters: Apple will unveil an LTE iPad tomorrow
Backing up rumors that Apple’s next-generation iPad set to be unveiled tomorrow, March 7 would be LTE-capable, Reutersreports “a source familiar with the product” has confirmed “iPad will be capable of operating on a high-speed 4G “LTE” network:
The newest iPad will be capable of operating on a high-speed 4G “LTE,” or Long-Term Evolution network, according to a source familiar with the product. At speeds roughly 10 times faster than current 3G technology, that may go a long way toward banishing the sometimes shaky video quality of older devices.
Adding to the reports, iMore claims the same source that called the March 7 unveiling date has also informed them the “iPad 3″ will include “4G LTE networking”. Both reports back up The Wall Street Journal’s sources who said in February that an LTE-equipped next-gen iPad would be landing on Verizon and AT&T.
We’ll of course be bringing you live updates tomorrow when the event kicks off at 10 a.m. PDT from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
First noticed by reader BenAmirault, the lack of home button on the iPad shown in the invitation has been the primary focus of attention. While many leapt to the conclusion that Apple may be getting rid of the home button (Steve Jobs famously didn’t like buttons at all), others quickly pointed out that the iPad could just be in in landscape mode. However, some other clues may prove it’s not that simple…
If the iPad is indeed in landscape mode, then the water droplets are in the wrong place. That grouping above and to the right of the Calendar app isn’t visible in landscape, reader Jeremy Schwartz says. That could mean indeed the home button has been removed (the iPad isn’t upside-down because the camera isn’t visible — unless that’s been moved, too). It could also mean that the background has been redesigned for a new kind of screen…
Examining the screen up close — as reader chrisdazzo pointed out Gizmodo did — shows that the screen resolution indeed appears to be much sharper than a regular iPad. This likely means the rumor that the iPad 3 will have a so-called “retina” display is true.
None of the apps shown are in the dock by default on today’s iPads. Why did Apple choose these particular ones? Could it be ready to unveil 3D maps, like Chaz McCarter suggests? A new way to customize how the Calendar icon appears (a theory from Kenneth Streetman)? And is ahbulhusein1 right that Keynote will now come bundled with the iPad by default?
The iPad screen doesn’t have those tiny markers that let you know which app page you’re on, which also includes the search magnifying glass. As Chris Hayesobserves, those icons are always on and you can’t turn them off. Does it mean the iPad 3 might have a whole new way of navigating pages? Or could it be a clue that what we’re looking at isn’t an iPad at all, but some other touchscreen device, as Eric Cotter speculates?
Most readers, like Johann Marron, believe “see” is a no-brainer reference to the iPad 3’s retina display. However, some, like Bobby Liu, think it could be a veiled reference to another device — the rumored iTV television. Although there’s no expectation that Apple is anywhere near ready to unveil a TV, Yesi Orihuela thinks what we’re looking could be a touchscreen controller for the set, or the TV itself, and not an iPad at all.
Smart_Faheem thinks this is a simple reference to updating the iPod Touch. But Jason Roth has a more elaborate theory, that Apple will replace the iPad home button and its hard buttons along the border with “invisible” along the bezel that are touch-reactive. There’s also no shortage of other theories, including haptic feedback (Daniel Chaparro), near-field communication (NFC) for mobile payments (ross_hayes) or that customers will be able to “touch” the new iPad with near-immediate availability (Steven Whiting). Of course, it could just be a mundane reference to the iPad’s touchscreen.
Many readers saw — or thought they saw — other clues, but some of the observations are questionable. Some believe the picture shows that the iPad will have a black backside, but that could just be lighting. There’s also no 30-pin connector visible (which Apple is rumored to be dropping), but that’s likely because of the angle of the photo. Then there are the just-for-laughs theories, like the new iPad will be waterproof (the droplets are real!), that the photo has the aspect ratio of an old TV (must be iTV!) and Apple wants the press to arrive on time (that’s what the Calendar app means).