iPad 3 announcement set for March 7; Features include quad-core A6 and 4G LTE support

Apple's iPad 3 announcement is reportedly set for March 7. Anticipated features include a quad-core A6 processor and 4G LTE support

Well, the cat's out of the bag, ladies and gentleman. Following a report from All Things D that Apple was going to announce the iPad 3 during the first week of March, iMore is reporting that we have a date locked in for the upcoming event - March 7. We haven't heard much in the way of rumors from iMore before, but Jim Darlymple of The Loop has what seems to be an unblemished track record with respect to these types of rumors and he corroborates the March 7th date.

And given that Apple has historically released the iPad about a week after its unveiling, expect to see the iPad 3 arrive sometime by mid-March.

So what can we expect to see in the iPad 3? Well a 2048x1536 Retina Display is a given, and iMore also claims that the iPad 3 will sport a quad-core A6 processor. Meanwhile, previous reports have hinted at an HD camera on the back along with an improved front-side camera as well.

Fleshing out the iPad 3 rumors, the Wall Street Journal reported early on Tuesday that the iPad 3 will, in fact, support 4G LTE networks.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. will sell a version of the coming iPad that runs on their newest fourth-generation wireless networks, according to people familiar with the matter, as the battle to cash in on big investments in mobile broadband heats up.

It remains to be seen, though, if iPad models compatible with Sprint and T-Mobile networks are also in the pipeline.

Now LTE is certainly attractive to the extent that it brings with it much faster data speeds, but an inherent downside is that LTE on current smartphones are notorious battery drains. The iPad will skirt around this issue on account of its monstrous battery (which will reportedly be larger in the iPad 3 than in previous models). What's more, the iPad will revert back to 3G when LTE isn't available. 

During Apple's last quarter, the company set an all-time high in iPad sales with over 15 million units sold. With all of the aforementioned features and upgrades poised to accompany the iPad 3 upon launch, Apple's iPad sales in 2012 are likely to grow even more and will inevitably keep all other competing tablets at bay.

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