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iPad 3 rumors: A guide to what's likely, unlikely, and totally bonkers

Apple will unveil its latest tablet on Wednesday, so the iPad 3 rumor mill is churning at full speed. Here's a quick list of iPad 3 rumors with a guide for why you should (or shouldn't) believe them.

By Megan Riesz / March 6, 2012

Customers test out Apple iPads in an Apple Store in downtown Shanghai, Feb. 29, 2012. Apple is expected to make an iPad 3 announcement on March 7.

Aly Song/Reuters

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What’s in a (iPad) name?

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Although most sources are dubbing Apple’s latest tablet the iPad 3, it’s safe to say that Tim Cook and his team could surprise us. The release of the iPhone 4S in place of the anticipated iPhone 5 proved that Apple isn’t afraid to do the unexpected. As a result, bloggers and experts have hypothesized that this tablet could be called the iPad 2S – especially if the iPhone 4S’ handy assistant Siri is included – or even the iPad HD. We’ll find out on Wednesday.

Probability: Likely iPad 3

Improved Retina display

Some of you are already enjoying a Retina display on your iPhone 4 or 4S, but the iPad is a few steps behind. It’s expected that the third iPad will join the Retina ranks on March 7, meaning it will have a higher-resolution screen worthy of a high-definition television. While the iPad and iPad 2 have a 768 by 1024 pixel screen, the third iPad could have one as high as 1536 by 2048, making videos and games crystal clear. Only problem? Better display means some files will take up more storage. Since carriers have imposed strict wireless data caps, you may want to download apps over Wi-Fi. (But that’s a small price to pay for what could be the most aesthetically pleasing tablet out there.)

Probability: Likely

4G LTE

Considering that no Apple product runs on 4G LTE, the fastest wireless network, this would be a bold step – and one in the right direction. However, there have been quite a few contradicting reports on the subject. The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon and AT&T will sell versions of the new iPad, suggesting it’s being upgraded to 4G. However, there are concerns over a shortage of large Retina displays, plus there are currently no 4G antennas that work on both Verizon and AT&T. That means each store would need to stock nine different versions of the iPad: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB in Wi-Fi, AT&T 4G, and Verizon 4G – maybe even three more for Sprint. It would make sense for Apple to leave out 4G until the screen shortage is taken care of and it doesn’t need to put screens in iPad models that may be less popular.  

Probability: Maybe

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