This week Apple will unveil its next generation iPad at the Yerba Buena Center of Arts , the same place where the previous two models came out. This is hardly a rumor now, giving a glance to the invitation will confirm it.
Let's for a moment forget all speculations, rumors and leaks and think what would be a sensible upgrade to the most widely used tablet in the world.
What immediately comes to mind is that Apple will add this year's hardware. It will be a major hardware upgrade to start with. Having said that, this major overhaul is only going to be on the iPad's logic board, the casing will in probability remain the same. Purely going by the trends, the second 'update' to an iOS device has always involved bringing stability to the device, remember iPhone 3GS? It looked the same as 3G but was a completely different device on performance, the next generation iPad might also follow the same trend and add internal hardware changes than the superficial looks. Then there is a possibility that the iPad might just have a Retina Display this time. It is highly likely this year but if you'd have said the same for iPad 2 last year I would have been skeptical. It really wasn't feasible to fit a display of that quality in a 499 dollar price limit. Come 2012 and the situation is different, the displays industry has overcome the price hurdle, it seems. So Retina is very much on my list of the new iPad. A good camera is obviously a good idea, Apple's iPhone 4S had done some good stuff with the optics, i find no reason why they won't want the same technology to come their next most sold gadget. A similar looking iPad with a better display, camera and screen would be my pick for the 3rd generation iPad.
In terms of software, it might be iOS 5.1 which is obviously the long awaited minor update to the iOS that is in beta stages currently but who knows Apple might have iOS 6 under the wraps. Now iOS 6 also sounds plausible, after all it's not every year that they can afford to 'announce' a new OS at the WWDC, WWDC being their annual developers conference and developers expect both hardware and software from it, not 'just' announcing software. But let's not deviate from the point. Whatever this new OS will be, what exactly will it have? The answer lies in Apple's Mountain Lion update. So first of all I'd like to highlight those features which the iOS is going to borrow from Mac OS X 10.8. First up, is the update to Notes. Notes are definitely set to have Picture embedding capabilities in them. Last month Apple showed us Notes coming for the Mac and it showed us how they synced well with the iCloud. So they definitely won't want to leave other devices behind in terms of the basic built in Capabilities. The next one is going to be Messages. Yes, Messages for the iOS is set to drop i from the name and become messages. It might also become more of a multi-purpose chat client, something that apple has envisioned to do with the OS X app of the same name. FaceTime will also get an HD update, that's something we had in the new OS X Lion but didn't in iOS5 so if iPad is going to get truly HD with all the retina display and airplay to HDTV's in HD, it should have FaceTime HD too. Safari is the next on the list. Apple had updated Safari last month, and now it sports a giant common search and address bar followed by a permanent Reader button. Frankly speaking Safari has never been better and the same will have to come on the iPad. All the above features will surely come on the iPad, but it all depends on how Apple plans to release its iOS and Mountain Lion. They may come later this year or they may be in your hands by the next week. And Now let's come to the iPad 2S (or 3) only features. Siri is highly possible. It might also drop the beta from the name. ILife and iWork are already present but Photos might get more Sharing options. If there is something new in works, I don't know it. I can only guess that it will either be an App Store App (which means it'll cost anything from $4.99 to $9.99) or an inbuilt app. But a few new apps are customary and will come for the next iPad only, this is certain. At the moment the best i can predict is Aperture and Final Cut Pro for iPad.
As for the name. I don't really think it is going to be iPad 3. iPad 2S, iPad, iPad HD are a few names I think the next generation iPad could be called.
Pricing will be the same. (Regardless of any rumor that is floating around.) the iPad might add the 4G LTE variant and they may merge it with 3G and charge a little more but it is slightly dubious at the moment. There might be more storage options too, 16GB iPads might make way for a 128GB model. The iPad might also have more accessories in store, an upgrade to the smart cover seems logical.
That's all there is to the mysterious new iPad. It will have no more or no less. Apple won't be showing off a 7 inch iPad. You won't be paying more for a retina display, though you might end up paying less if you are a student and the iPad won't be bulkier or have a small battery life, in short it won't have anything less than the iPad 2.
And One More Thing, The next iPad also will come with a heart melting video!