It's not like we weren't expecting it, but Apple's now made it official. The event is scheduled for March 7th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10AM PST. 

Apparently, the event is about something they would really like us to see, and touch. If you pay close attention to the image, that is definitely not a 1024x768 pixel display, but instead a super-high resolution Retina display as most us have come to expect. Most estimates currently put the resolution at twice that of the original iPad/iPad 2; or at a ridiculous 2048x1536 pixels. That should put the iPad 3's display at 264ppi, which is still shy of the iPhone 4's 326ppi display, but impressive nonetheless. In comparison, the optional high resolution displays on the current-gen 15" MacBook Pros sport a modest 1680x1050 resolution.

Amongst other things, the new iPad should bring with it upgraded internals such as a faster processor; possibly an upgraded SoC with faster graphics and better front and rear-facing cameras. Since Apple never publicly releases the specifications of its SoCs, it would be unwise to comment on the exact nature of the silicon inside the iPad 3 until we can run benchmarks and draw some inferences about the architecture, process node, performance and power consumption of the new chip. It remains to be seen whether Apple offers Siri on the iPad 3 or if it would remain as an iPhone-exclusive feature. However, it would be fair game to expect iOS 5.1 to launch alongside the new iPad 3.

What is certain however, is that the added lure of the Retina display, amongst other things, should keep Apple comfortably ahead of the competition in terms of absolute revenue and unit sales. We can also expect pre-order systems to crash, and long lines outside Apple stores shortly.

If the date on the calendar is any hint, the wait isn't terribly long now. Keep your credit cards ready.

Source: The Verge

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  • quiksilvr - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Asus did it first. Let it be know. Asus came out with quad core and 1080p before Apple. Fact.
  • quiksilvr - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    They aren't ahead of the competition. They just have marketing to make people think they did it first.
  • henrikfm - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    They don't make it first, but they do it better.
  • aicom - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Asus did 1080p (1920x1080). Apple is doing 2048x1536 (if we believe the rumors) which is in a completely different league. I'm not arguing about the quad-core though ;)
  • zorxd - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    The Asus 1080p tablet will probably release after the iPad3 however.

    I think Apple shouldn't have kept the old 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Nah, it's a good aspect ratio for a hand-held tablet. Watching video is a bit wonky, but actual usage is good.
  • zorxd - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Why would it be a good aspect ratio for tablets while phones, laptops, desktops, TV and everything else is wider?
  • Solandri - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    AR - description
    1.29 - 8.5"x11" letter-sized sheet of paper (13.9" diagonal)
    1.33 - 4:3 e.g. 9.7" iPad
    *1.36 - 7"x9.5" letter-sized page with 0.75" margins (11.8" diagonal)
    1.41 - 297x210mm A4 page (14.3" diagonal)
    *1.43 - 7"x10" Time magazine minus margins (12.2" diagonal)
    *1.46 - 277x190mm A4 page w/ 2cm margins (13.2" diagonal)
    *1.50 - 35mm SLR film size (also DSLR photo size)
    1.60 - 16:10 e.g. most 10.1" Android tablets
    1.64 - 5.5"x9" Nat Geo magazine minus margins (10.5" diagonal)
    1.71 - most 7" Android tablets
    1.73 - 7.5"x13" legal-sized page w/ 1" margins
    *1.78 - 16:9 e.g. HDTV

    I've starred the sizes which I think are most important. The two paper sizes are for reference (nobody prints content to the edge of the page except for photos, whose size doesn't matter as much). Personally I think 16:10 is the ideal ratio for a tablet. It's a good compromise between displaying paper/magazine formats, SLR photos, and HDTV movies. 3:2 would be better. 16:9 is skewed too far towards the long and skinny end, while 4:3 is skewed too far towards the square end.

    In terms of wasted screen space, on the iPad's 4:3 aspect ratio screen:
    - a letter-sized page minus margins has a 9.6" diagonal (2% of pixels wasted)
    - a A4-sized page minus margins has a 9.4" diagonal (9% of pixels wasted)
    - a 16:9 movie a diagonal of 8.9" (25% of pixels wasted)

    On a 10.1" 16:10 screen:
    - a letter-sized page minus margins is 8.9" diagonal (16.7% waste).
    - a A4-sized page minus margins has a 9.5" diagonal (9% of pixels wasted)
    - a 16:9 movie has a 9.8" diagonal (10% waste)

    Basically, 4:3 is better for viewing pages, but sucks for movies and TV. 16:9 is good for movies and TV, but sucks for viewing pages. 16:10 is a good compromise across all main use formats. Web pages I would argue don't really matter since they're designed to be scrolled up/down (fortunately the attempt in the 1990s to eliminate the scroll bar and replace it with next page buttons died a well-deserved death).

    Also, from the diagonals, you can see traditional printed formats clump around 12"-13" diagonal for readable text. The current iPad and 10.1" Android tablets are about 20%-30% too small. The 7" and 8" tablets hit the paperback size perfectly though.
  • zorxd - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    You also forget one of the most important format: web pages. Given that most laptops and desktops are 16:10 or 16:9, most of them are optimized for wide screens.
    Also gaming is better on wide screen.
    And many movies are 2.39:1 which is even wider, which means it looks even more like crap on 4:3.

    The 4:3 aspect ratio was only invented because it was close to a square and therefore easier to make for CRT displays.

    Wide ratios are more natural because they are closer to the human vision ratio.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    The main advantage to 4:3 I see are physical ergonomics. Until tablets get even lighter, more like the Kindle e-reader, there is a problem with 16:9 tablets held in portrait mode from the bottom half since they become unbalanced from all that additional weight at the top. 4:3 balances much more easily.

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