Some people might look at the current success of the iPad and iPad 2, and the records recently broken by the release of the iPhone 4 and think that Apple had earned a little time off. But according to some mysterious overseas sources, Apple isn't just planning on dropping the price of the iPad 2 in anticipation of the iPad 3's launch in March, but that the iPad 4 - yes, 4 - will be released in October.
The reports come with very little confirmation from DigiTimes, who have been known to come up with as many dubious leaks as reliable ones, so these reports should be taken at face value. The last time we heard from the outlet's "sources" they were claiming that both the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 will arrive in 2012, which still remains to be seen.
While those reports aren't completely unlikely, the newest rumors may be a bit harder to take. According to "industry sources in Taiwan" Apple is scheduling an iPad 3 with an improved QXGA display and longer battery life for a March release, coinciding with an iPad 2 price cut to US$399. A price cut would be a wise move, since anyone who shopped the modern tablet market this holiday season knows how competitive Apple's opposition has gotten.
If the modestly-improved specs for the iPad 3 are somewhat of a disappointment, fear not, for the same sources claim that most of the upgrades and overhauled hardware are being held off for the iPad 4, releasing in October. That's right, Apple is planning to release not one, but two new iPads in 2012. While the timing may seem rushed, the sources claim that the October release is designed to compete with the arrival of Windows 8, and a new onslaught of PC tablets.
Reports from shady sources in overseas manufacturing always demand a bit of scrutiny, but these are a bit harder to swallow than most. While we would admit that Apple is likely very interested in getting another piece of hardware on the market in 2012, an iPad 3 that is only mildly improved is a bit of a disappointment. But if we were going to be placing any bets, it definitely wouldn't be on the iPad 4 arriving anytime soon. That is, unless they buy Nintendo like we hope.
Hopefully we'll be able to glean a few more details and truth in the coming months, but for now, take these rumors as you will.
What's your take on the current situation of Apple? Think they're in a hurry to release all of the projects that can be claimed to have been overseen by the late Steve Jobs, or will manufacturing be slowing down from here on out?
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