iPad 3 Release Rumors and What to Expect

The Apple iPad 3 is only a few days away from its expected release date and so far the tablet maker has fought off the competition.

Apple has remained tight-lipped about what it’s iPad version 3 announcement, but officials did schedule a press event for Wednesday, which many believe will provide further answers to the launch date.

It’s been almost a year since the iPad 2’s release, making the timing right for a refresh. And with the tech-centric South by Southwest Interactive Festival starting next weekend, it would make sense. Last year, Apple announced at the last minute it would be selling the iPad 2 at the Austin, Texas, event — ensuring buzz among the tech influencers there.

Few people outside Apple know for sure what CEO Tim Cook will unveil next week. But assuming it’s a new iPad, speculation and leaks have focused on a few possibilities:

One tidbit that’s cropped up over and over is that Apple manufacturers have cranked out a display screen that would be a huge leap from the current model.

The story, largely originating from China where Apple products are made, is that the iPad 3 will have a 2048-by-1536-pixel retina display. That would be a major leap from the iPad 2’s 1024 by 768 pixels and rival the display on high-definition television.

There have even been reports, based on parts listings provided to suppliers, that the new gadget could be called the iPad HD. (For the record, suppliers aren’t told Apple’s marketing plans, so take that with a grain of salt.)

Many tech observers who looked at Apple’s digital media invitation to the event suspect the crisp, clear partial image of what looks like an iPad is showing off the new display.

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