The iPad 3 is on its way, iOS 5.1 update reveals

29 Nov 2011

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The iPad 3, which is expected launch in March, has been referenced in a list of devices in the new iOS 5.1 software, leaving no doubt Apple is hard at work on the new tablet computer.

While not quite calling it the iPad 3, the new device is referred to as iPad 2.4, which begs the question will there actually be an iPad 3 or will Apple come out with a new version of the iPad 2, such as an iPad 2S or a 7-inch version of the device?

All this is conjecture, of course. The significance of the code, discovered by Apple blog 9to5Mac, within the iOS 5.1 update, is that it confirms the existence of a forthcoming iPad device.

Apple is believed to be working on two iPad prototypes – a 7-inch version and one with the 9.7-inch screen that we are all familiar with.

The next device is expected to have a 2,048 x 1,536 screen, which will be a vast improvement over the current 1,024 x 768 display.

Apple will need this extra firepower as rivals such as Samsung are believed to be working on a display they hope will rival Apple’s Retina technology which can currently be found on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S smartphone displays.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com