Obligatory iPad 3 predictions

After weeks of iPad rumors, I’m looking forward to March 8th when every tech blog in existence runs an article about how Apple dropped the ball. Before I pen my “Apple sucks” manifesto, I present a list of my predictions for the March 7th iPad 3 announcement.

Retina display

This is pretty much a given. As would be expected, the GPU will be greatly improved to take advantage of the fancy display.

Upgraded cameras

New cameras front and rear. The front is a logical upgrade as the existing VGA unit won’t do justice to the display. The rear camera will be vastly upgraded to turn the iPad into a serious video/photo device. I’m expecting a camera on par with the one in the iPhone 4S.

Quad core processor … maybe

With apps like iMovie, Avid, and Photoshop touch, the iPad is moving into the realm of a serious editing machine. If Apple chooses to embrace that, their best bet would be to offer a quad core processor with plenty of RAM to go with it. Otherwise, the A5 with a bump in clock speed is likely.

No LTE

Qualcomm has released a low power LTE chip but I don’t see Apple jumping on this technology just yet. Verizon is the only US carrier with decent LTE coverage while Sprint and AT&T are just starting. At this rate, a true LTE footprint on multiple carriers won’t be available until 2013, just in time for the iPhone 5 or iPad 4.

Same memory options

Apple will keep the 16, 32, and 64 GB options although they may chose to introduce a 128 GB version.

Siri

I’m not sure how Apple will implement Siri on the iPad but I want to believe she’ll be there. In current form, she’s useless without an internet connection; a likely situation for a WiFi iPad. If Apple includes Siri on the iPad 3, they’ll need a graceful way to explain why she is unable to help. Connection issues aside, I’d be happy to see the dictation features at the very least.

iOS 5

Despite the iOS 6 rumors, the iPad 3 will ship with the latest update of iOS 5. The new update (5.1?) will be available for all iOS devices after the keynote.

Same price structure

Apple will leave the pricing structure the same as the existing model. At the same time, they will cut into the mid-range tablet market by keeping the iPad 2 16gb WiFi model in production and priced somewhere between $349 and $399.

Wrapup

As you can tell, I am rooting for the iPad to become a serious device to create multimedia content. A good camera, solid processing power, and the existing range of editing tools will provide the amateur videographer a single machine to shoot, edit, and publish from. Sure, it looks silly to be holding the iPad out in front of you but really, it only feels weird until everyone is doing it.

If I’m right on 50% of these, I’ll snap my suspenders smugly in a nearby Starbucks.