No iPad 3, but instead the iPad HD, hitting retail March 16: reports

You can stop calling Apple's next-generation tablet the iPad 3, as the latest reports point to Apple eschewing the numbering scheme for the newest iPad, which will be launched tomorrow, and using the name iPad HD, instead.

The iPad HD launch event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 at 10 a.m. PST at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. Apple tends to use that location for its high-profile announcements, and will continue to do so, at least until its new spaceship-style headquarters is completed.

The moniker iPad HD has been tossed around for some time, most recently since a number of leaks on the inventory of some accessories makers showed the new Apple tablet being called iPad HD in their catalog of products.

The HD, quite obviously, is a reference to the high-definition aspect of the new iPad. It's believed ... and almost certain ... that the new iPad will sport a "retina display" with the resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, or a doubling of resolution in both directions (horizontal and vertical).

Whether or not the "retina display" is marketing puffery or reality is still up for debate, but the company has advertised that term since the days of the iPhone 4 (not 4S). Either way, it's a significant upgrade from the iPad and iPad 2's 1,024 x 768 displays.

Nothing, of course, is set in stone until Apple says it is. Among the other rumors which may or may not pan out:

  • LTE support (the Wall Street Journal has claimed Verizon and AT&T iPads will support LTE, but did not mention international support, and the myriad of 4G frequencies will make it a challenge)
  • Apple A6 quad-core processor OR Apple A5x dual-core processor (with enhanced graphics support to focus on the HD display)
  • 1GB RAM
  • iPad 2 to be sold at a lower data tier (8GB) to better compete with the Kindle Fire and other low-cost Android tablets
  • 8MP rear facing camera
  • slightly thicker (1mm)
  • slightly more tapered design
  • possible new dock connector

When the iPad HD will ship, as oppose to its Wednesday intro is also still up in the air. However, also up in the air are multiple freight shipments. Reports are that Apple's garnered so much of the freight business from China to the U.S. that others are scrambling to get their own shipments done.

Update: the latest reports are that the iPad HD will hit retail on March 16. This is inline with last year's release, which occurred a similar amount of time after the iPad 2 announcement.

Source
Image Source Apple email

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