Steve Jobs, the late longtime CEO of Apple, never cared for a 7-inch iPad, saying "the screen is too small to express the software." But the company may be taking a second look with the success of the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Stories have already been spreading about the upcoming iPad 3. AllThingsD reported that Apple plans to introduce the iPad 3 during the first full week of March, and will start to sell it a week later. Sources said the company will introduce the tablet at a special event in San Francisco, most likely at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple’s preferred location.
Also, analyst Ezra Gottheil predicts that the company will launch a 7-inch iPad later in the year that may contain a wireless keyboard-case. "[The next iPad] will have a higher-resolution screen that Apple will call a Retina display, even if it's not," said Gottheil, according to Computerworld. "That's important to Apple because it means the iPad will work well in their home theater play, since it will display full HD."
Gottheil said he didn’t believe the iPad 3’s processor would be quad-core because of the power requirements, and thinks Apple is more likely to use a faster dual-core system. He expected Siri to be available, and predicts the company will continue to sell the iPad 2 with Wi-Fi only and 16GB of flash storage space for around $400.
Despite Apple's recent incredible sales numbers, the iPad is still losing market share to tablets on Androids. The Los Angeles Times reported that Apple sold 15.43 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2011, but statistics show the iPad's share of the tablet market dropped from 68.2 percent to 57.6 percent in the fourth quarter, while Androids went from 29 percent in 2010 to 39.1 percent.
According to Apple Insider, images of the upcoming device have been showing up on the Internet. Reported back panel images showed different mounts for the logic board and a different camera and LCD display, along with a bigger battery. Pictures did not indicate any form changes, and there is a photo of a high-resolution LCD panel.