Apple will reportedly reveal two iPad 3 models during the Macworld/iWorld expo scheduled for January 26-28, 2012, in San Francisco. Sources claim that both will offer the same 9.7-inch QXGA screen (1536 x 2048), but one will feature a 5MP camera lens while the other will sport a larger 8MP lens. Both will provide dual LED light bars to strengthen the brightness of the screens.
According to sources at Apple’s supply chain partners, via Digitimes, the iPad 2 will also join the two newer models during the show. It will supposedly represent the entry-level tablet in Apple’s iPad line, followed by the 5MP iPad 3 (mid-range) and 8MP iPad 3 (high-end). It will also reportedly compete directly with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, thus indicating that Apple could introduce a cheaper, 8 GB version to better compete with the Kindle Fire’s $199 pricetag.
Sources also claim that Sharp has signed on to provide the majority of the iPad 3 display panels, with Samsung and LG Display picking up the slack. Minebea, the company which provides backlight units (BLUs) to Sharp, has also entered Apple’s supply chain for the new iPads. Outside the display, according to reports, Samsung will provide both the quad-core A6 processor and the CMOS image sensor (CIS) for the 5MP lens, whereas Sony will serve as the CIS supplier for the 8MP lens. The iPad 2 will presumably retain the current dual-core A5 SoC.
Apple unveiled the iPad 2 on March 2, 2011, and then began selling the device online and in retail shops on March 11. The original iPad was first introduced back on January 27, but didn’t release the tablet until April. More than 15 million iPad units were sold by the time the sequel hit retail shops the following year March.