Rumor: iPad 3 to come with Retina Display, 8 MP camera, and FaceTime HD, iPad 2 will drop to $399

Many iPad 3 rumors have come and gone over the past few months. At first, it was supposedly launching in 2011 too (which made absolutely no sense whatsoever). Now it’s obvious that it will be released this year, and one thing has been quite common in all rumors so far: the purported ‘Retina Display’ of the upcoming iPad.

That is of course just a brand, but what it means is that the iPad 3 will get a higher-resolution display than the first two generations of the tablet. And the rumor du jour, courtesy of iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz, also says something about the iPad 3 packing a Retina Display.

But it doesn’t stop there. The new iPad will reportedly have a camera on par with that in the iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 (so 8 MP best-case scenario), and the front-facing camera will gain HD video support – which means FaceTime HD video chats will be possible (in case anyone is still using FaceTime).

Because of the Retina Display and some other new components (the camera, perhaps), the iPad 3 will be around 1 mm thicker than the iPad 2.

The launch should happen around March, and the pricing scheme will remain unchanged from the iPad 2, with the cheapest version being $499. However, the iPad 2 may remain on sale even after the iPad 3 is released.

The iPad 2 will then see its price dropped to $399, or even $299 if Apple decides to sell a previously unheard of 8 GB version of the tablet.

The iPad 2’s price drop will ensure that Apple has a solid competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Fire (priced at $199). Yes, the iPad will still be $100 or $200 more expensive than Amazon’s offering, but all Apple products are perceived as being premium, so many people may just opt to buy a $299 iPad rather than a $199 Kindle Fire. And let’s not forget that the iPad has the bigger screen, which is a plus for some.

Because this strategy would closely follow what Apple has done with its smartphones when the iPhone 4S was launched, I think it makes a lot of sense and it’s probably what we’ll see happen. So sorry, but there probably won’t be a 7.85-inch new iPad Mini – at least not announced alongside the iPad 3. There’s simply no incentive for Apple to create two new tablets, when it can just come up with one marginally improved product (again replicating the iPhone 4S strategy) – after all, a higher-res display and better cameras are nice features to have but… that’s it?

The iPhone 4S has showed us that people will buy Apple mobile devices in droves even if they are just marginal improvements compared to their predecessors. So the iPad 3 will clearly be a huge success.


Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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