Apple iPad 3 rumors: thicker, sharper, coming soon

Apple

Apple

(CBS) - A new set of iPad 3 rumors are making rounds. This time the A6 quad-core chip and leaked photos of an alleged iPad shell is under scrutiny. Oh, and a release date!

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What's up with the A6 chip?

Sources close to the iPad 3 told The Verge there will allegedly be no quad-core A6 chip. Instead, the new tablet is rumored to come with a dual-core processor.

Meaning, the new Apple tablet won't be as fast as we originally thought. Does it matter all that much? It depends on how you plan to use the device. If your usage revolves around checking emails, Facebook or reading the news, it won't be a deal-breaker. The iPad 2 uses a dual-core A5 chip, so the hardware will still get an upgrade.

And Retina Display?

AllThingsD is standing by reports that the iPad 3 will have 2048x1536 Retina Display. Meaning, we'll see a jump in display quality similar to the one from the iPhone 3G to iPhone 4. Expect sharper pictures with more vivid colors.

Is that leaked photo of an iPad 3 shell real?

Maybe. It wouldn't be the first time an Apple product was leaked before release. Ahem, iPhone 4. A bevy of blogs like 9to5Mac, MacRumors and Repair Labs have all toyed with the idea that a photo circulating of an iPad 3 shell is indeed the next iteration of Apple's tablet. I wouldn't bet any money on it, however. There's a chance it could just be a prototype.

What about the release date?

Everyone is sticking to a March release date. According to AllThingsD, a source familiar with the matter says the iPad will be announced the first week of March.

Previous rumors over the iPad 3's release date include a note by Citi analyst Richard Gardnersaying the tablet would come out in February, which was reported by Business Insider. Another prediction came from the Chinese-language newspaper Economic Daily News, which claimed the iPad 3 would be launched in March or the middle of the first quarter.

And most recently,Mashable noticed iPad 3 books were set to launch on Amazon's European site March 29 - meaning, the iPad couldn't come out later than that date.

The original iPad launched in April 2010 and the iPad 2 in March 2011.

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