[NEWS] iPad 3 set for March 7 launch

It appears that the rumors may actually be true, today it has been announced that a new product will be launched on the 7th March at 10am Pacific Time in San Francisco at the traditional Yerba Buena Centre. This goes against an earlier suggestion that the event was going to break with tradition and instead be in New York.

Apple launch invite

Apple's launch Invite

The invitation simply states;

“We have something you really need to see. And touch.”

Which seems to strongly indicate that the iPad 3 is ready and waiting to meet the world at last.

This will mark the first major product launch without Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook’s opportunity to throw off the shadow and bring Apple forward, keeping it relevant, without the figure who many feel defined Apple and the products they made.

But what can we expect from the new iPad? Rumors have been rife, but there are some things, which have been thrown about online, which seem very credible.

Retina Display – It’s been in the iPhone 4 and has proven to be hugely popular, especially in an age of HD videos on YouTube and the growth of the competitor AMOLED screens. It makes sense that the true, portable multimedia device, which was designed for rich content streaming and viewing should have a stronger, sharper display.

Thicker Build – With the improved graphics, it’s expected that the iPad might become a bit thicker. Suggestions are that it will probably be about 1mm thicker to hold than the iPad 2, which is still considerably thinner than the iPad 1.

Cheaper models – The Kindle Fire has given some new hope to the Android tablet market, offering consumers a cheaper alternative to the iPad, so it has been suggested that there could be a new two-tiered pricing structure, however this, in my opinion would go against Apple’s mentality with iDevices to date, offering only high-end niche products to a select market, and cornering it.

The Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire, largely seen as Apple's biggest competition

Siri – finally, it’s widely expected that a more polished version of Siri may find its way onto the new iPad. It has proven to be widely popular on the iPhone, and while still in beta has been getting very positive reviews. It makes sense for the iPad 3 to carry this personal assistant, especially as the iPad has become the sole computer device for many.

We can’t know for sure what the new iPad will bring, but it will be interesting to watch. While there are some significant improvements, the majority of these appear to be feature upgrades, rather than major overhauls. However, Apple has always managed to surprise onlookers with new features which help set apart various products and launches, so hopefully the iPad 3 will be no different.

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