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The Apple iPad series will get two new iterations in January according to the latest rumours. A new report suggests two new models will be unveiled at the iWorld expo on 26 January.
These reports come from DigiTimes, a prolific producer of Apple rumour and conjecture – add a spoonful of salt to the kool-aid before downing it. The two new models will aim for mid- and high-range markets, leaving the iPad 2 as an entry-level model, although both keep the iPad 2 screen size of 9.7in.
The major changes to the spec list are in battery size and screen resolution. DigiTimes writes that the new models will feature 1,536 x 2,048 pixel displays – boasting four times the pixels of the iPad 2 – and batteries up to 14,000mAh in capacity. The exact differences between the mid-range and high-end models haven’t been fully specified, although the lower-cost one has a 5-megapixel camera against the 8-meg sensor of the fancier "iPad 3".
Both will reportedly feature quad-core A6 processors and more powerful LED screen backlights, leaving the existing dual-core iPad 2 to trundle on into 2012 as the “budget” option.
We’re confident that Apple will update its iPad range within 2012, but these latest rumours strike us as highly dubious for several reasons. A lot of the space within the iPad 2 is taken up by the ~7000mAh battery, and doubling this capacity would require the iPad frame to bulk-up substantially. From a company so focused on aesthetics, this seems unlikely – especially when the battery performance of the iPad 2 is considered excellent and Quad-core processors needn’t be more power-sucking than dual-core models in normal operation.
Then there’s the notion of using megapixels as a key differentiator between the two new models. Apple packed very basic cameras into the iPad 2, demonstrating an understanding that photography is not a key feature of a tablet. Suddenly putting it front and centre as a selling point of a top dog model seems distinctly un-Apple. Also, that the arrival of these new tablets would suddenly enable the current iPad 2 to drop to $199 or thereabouts to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire seems unlikely.
As we enter 2012, the rumours game of pinning the tail on the iDonkey is sure to continue. But we don’t think DigiTimes has hit the jackpot here. Drop us your thoughts in the comments.