No Quad-Core Processor In The iPad 3, Will Probably Go On Sale March 16th

No Quad-Core Processor In The iPad 3, Will Probably Go On Sale March 16th

Most reports up until now have had the iPad 3’s speedier A6 processor pegged as a quad-core affair, just like some of the more advanced Honeycomb competition, but according to a new source, the iPad 3’s processor will still be a dual-core CPU. But why would Apple skimp when the competition’s got them beat?

Citing an anonymous source, Joshua Topolsky writes over at The Verge that while the iPad 3 will still have a dual-core processor, it will feature a significantly more powerful GPU.

This makes sense to me. Apple is not the type of company that updates specs just for updated spec’s sakes. Remember when everyone thought the iPhone 4S would ship with 1GB of RAM, when Apple thought 512MB was not only better, but more power efficient? Same thing here. The bottleneck in the iPad 2 right now isn’t in computing power, it’s in graphic power (especially if a Retina Display is added, which seems definite; Apple will need a beefier GPU just to push the pixels). The iPad 3 will be a major update even if Apple just gives the existing model a Retina Display and LTE.

Otherwise, The Verge has heard the same things that the rest of us have about the iPad 3, including that it will launch in early March, with Topolsky speculating that Apple will hold its iPad 3 launch event on February 29th. That groks: not only is the 29th a Wednesday, the same day Apple has released all other iPads, but if it launched the following Friday, a la the iPad 2, the iPad 3 would be on store shelves by March 9th, exactly 364 days after the iPad 2 went on sale. The problem is, that’s the same time that the rest of the tech industry is showing off new phones and tablets at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. So I say no: Apple will at least wait another week to announce the iPad 3, likely making the iPad 3’s release day May 16th.

  • Sean Smith

    May 16th? I’m assuming you meant March 16th? And that would be awesome… that’s the day before my birthday! Happy birthday to me! :)

  • Teds McTeddington

    Final sentence really threw me!  March 16th I hope you mean.

  • guest

    Not trying to jinx anything, lol but watch it be the iPad 2s.

  • KeirThomas

    What’ll be shocking is if Apple sell the iPad 3 at a higher price point, and keep the iPad 2 on sale and at its current price. I really think this will happen. 

    Apple will have to diversify its iPad range at some point, just like they diversified the iPhone and iPod ranges. 

    Who wants to take bets? My prediction: the iPad 3’s biggest claim will be a lovely high-res display, with a slightly faster GPU component that will be needed for it. A better camera too, and maybe a speed bump with the processor, but that’s about it. And it’ll cost $100 more. 

  • KeirThomas

    Oh, and maybe LTE too, but this isn’t such a big deal for international markets. Armchair analysts would be advised to remember that the iPad is sold internationally. 

  • Len Williams

    Your use of the term “grok” is incorrect. “Grok” means to fully and richly understand something to the point of it becoming a part of you and you of it. It includes the concept of deep conceptual and even spiritual understanding, as in: “I used to paint, but when I finally grokked painting it became the all consuming passion of my life.” The term was coined by Robert A. Heinlein in “Stranger in a Strange Land”, one of my all time favorite scifi/philosophy books.

  • aardman

    Nope.  They will not raise the price.  They didn’t do that with the Macs, iPhones, iPads, Airport, Time Machine or any other Apple product.  If they really need to raise the price because of a significant new feature, they’ll role out a new ‘product’. e.g. Time Machine.

    If they raise iPad prices the buzz that’ll come out of that is “Apple is expensive”.

  • KeirThomas

    Go out onto the street and ask 50 people if they think Apple hardware is expensive. The answer will be Yes, each time. 

    Apple positions itself as a premium brand. Always has, always will. It sees no shame in this. There’s a lot to be gained from it, in fact. 

    That said, you might be right. But I do think diversification is on the cards, even if that means as some have suggested the the current iPad remains on sale for a lower amount. 

    What’s rather strange is that you can still buy the iPhone 3GS from operators, yet Apple only mentions the 4S on its site. It’s a kind of hidden diversification. The same may happen with the iPad. A newcomer might think that the iPad 3 is the only iPad available but the iPad 2 is still available from retailers and operators.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Macs change prices. Some examples:

    Base Mac Mini
    2005 $499
    2006 $599
    2010 $699
    2011 $599

    Base 15″ MBP
    2006 $1999
    2009 $1699
    2010 $1799

  • Allan Cook

    I expect to see the new iPad for sale during SXSW, March 9-18. Just like last year I bet Apple opens a pop-up store in downtown Austin for the festival geeks.

  • 5aga

    they won’t raise the price. they will offer the older model for a lower price point. 

  • Mike Rathjen

    I don’t dispute that nor did I make predictions of any kind. I merely countered the incorrect point that Macs never change prices.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Countries with commercially available LTE coverage:

    Armenia
    Austria
    Australia
    Bahrain
    Belarus
    Brazil
    Bulgaria
    Canada
    Denmark
    Estonia
    Finland
    Germany
    Hong Kong
    Hungary
    Japan
    Korea, South
    Kuwait
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Philippines
    Norway
    Poland
    Puerto Rico
    Russia
    Saudi Arabia
    Singapore
    Spain
    Sweden
    United Arab Emirates
    Uruguay
    United States
    Uzbekistan

  • infin1023

    “The bottleneck in the iPad 2 right now isn’t in computing power, it’s in graphic power” ?? Right now, iPad2 still have the fastest GPU around, and it is not slow at all…

  • KeirThomas

    Wow Apple is making a huge push into LATVIA and BELARUS!

    Not on your list are two of Apples biggest overseas markets — the United Kingdom and China.

    LTE just ain’t that big a draw I’m afraid.

  • Dville123

    I find it curious and rather baffling that no one has speculated about storage space yet.  My prediction is that the iPad 3 will get a storage space bump.  This will make the base model usable in light of textbooks taking up 1.5 GBs, and newer apps (for the new HD screen) that will almost surely make a bigger footprint.  Cuz seriously, 16 GBs just ain’t cutting it anymore. Not to mention the storage requirements of other media like true hi def movies (1080p), and high resolution pictures. This is a more pressing need than a quad core processor.  Making the A6 dual core probably cut costs and those savings will make (my theory here) the storage bump possible, without raising the price.

  • Mike Rathjen

     I don’t dispute your opinion at all. Just providing a factual list.

  • brownlee

    This is not the way the word is usually used, particularly in computer circles. And by that note, Tom Wolfe was misusing grok as far back as the 60s. 

  • Adam Brandt

    Nah, not with the Kindle Fire that just came out for $199.99

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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