In the weeks and months prior to Apple media events, the newswires are stormed by tons of reports about Apple’s upcoming announcements. Because of this, it is hard to keep track of who said what and when. Therefore we’re putting together the more notable calls and how those reports turned out:
March 7th keynote: In early February AllThingsD called for an Apple iPad media event during the first week of March. At that time, we speculated a March 7th keynote due to the availability at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center (the location where Apple likes to hold these events) and Apple’s recent fondness for Wednesday events. iMore later outright reported on a March 7th third-generation iPad announcement.
Pre-orders and availability: The first clue at when Apple would publicly release the new iPad was when we broke the news that Apple would be opening up a new store in London’s Harrod’s on Friday, March 16th. In the days leading up to the event, our sources confirmed a March 16th launch in the United States and other countries, and these sources also pinpointed more international launches for the following Friday. In terms of pre-orders, we pinpointed a March 7th pre-order date for the new iPad.
The design: iLounge, which typically offers accurate Apple design information perhaps due to their close relations with case manufacturers, was first to pinpoint an iPad 2-like design for the new iPad. They also said that this new design would be roughly half a millimeter thicker than the iPad 2′s design, which it is. In the weeks running up to the iPad’s announcement, the New York Times chimed in by saying the design would be very similar to the iPad 2 design.
Apple TV announcement: We first noticed shortages in the Apple TV supply chain on Feb 12th. While some called the launch of an Apple TV at the iPad event ludicrous (30:00), “because it would take the focus away from the main attraction”, we broke the news that Apple would in fact launch a new Apple TV model at the third-generation iPad event. At the time we said that the new iPad would launch with a 1080P video service, and in the months prior we pinpointed the device’s new Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities, J33 codename, and found Apple TV 3,1 references several months ago.
Siri Dictation: One of the headline features of the new iPad is its Siri Dictation support; a feature that allows users to dictate what they would like to type instead of using Apple’s touch-screen keyboard. In January we broke the news that Siri Dictation would be making its way to the new iPad, thanks to some leftover strings in the early iOS 5.1 beta.
LTE: One of the most important upgrades in the new iPad is the new wireless system. Besides the new Bluetooth 4.0 and HSPA+ capabilities, the new LTE integration will do wonders for attachment loading, web browsing, and video watching. All the way in August, 2010, before the “iPad 3″ rumors started running at full-force, we reported that Apple was field-testing iOS 5 devices with LTE chips, and we also said that the next-generation iPad was a very likely candidate to be an LTE device. In January, Bloomberg reported that the new iPad would sport LTE connectivity, then the WSJ, iMore, Reuters, all followed up in the following weeks. The morning of the iPad event, Mr X. “confirmed” that 4G iPads would be sold worldwide.
The cameras: Alongside the third-generation iPad casing leaks came speculation surrounding the new iPad’s cameras. With the hole being bigger for the camera lens in the case leaks, many figured the new iPad would sport either the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S camera. In the end, Apple merged the two ideas into what they’re calling the iSight Camera. In the case of the new iPad, this means the fusion of the iPhone 4′s five megapixel shooter, and the iPhone 4S’s advanced, custom optics system.
Retina Display:The Retina Display was perhaps the most rumored addition in the new iPad. After all, the 2048 x 1536 resolution screen is the new iPad’s headline feature. Several news sites threw in their own sourcing for a Retina Display “iPad 3,” but it seems that the very first reports on a Retina Display iPad 3, not iPad 2, came from analysts. The first major publication to confirm a Retina Display was the WSJ in August 2011, and, notably, MacRumors acquired a 2048 x 1536 display in the weeks leading up to Apple’s early March media event.
Pricing: We were able to report that new iPad prices would stay at the original iPad and iPad 2 price points: $499-$829 a week before the event. We also said capacities would stay the same, which they did.
Processor: The new iPad’s processor situation came to an atypical end. While reliable publications like Bloomberg and iMore claimed that the new iPad would include a quad-core processor, The Verge reported that it would remain dual core but also said it would include better graphics performance. The end result was actually a fusion of the two: The new iPad sports an A5X processor that sports a dual-core processing unit, but adds quad-core graphics. Confusion and situations involving “broken telephone” between sources and publications seems likely here, but don’t worry… Apple is still working on that promised quad-core CPU.
What didn’t happen:
The “iPad HD” name, which two reputable organizations reported at the same time could be the biggest missed call. Senseg Haptics which was put forward by Pocket Lint and the Guardian (we’re hoping this hits next gen!) even though the CEO said on video that any final product was still a year out. LiquidMetal also made a suspicious statement the morning of the event which, as far as we know, isn’t a big part of the new iPad.