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

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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.