After almost a year of iPad 3 rumors, there are now, we think, three trustworthy nuggets of information about Apple's next tablet model. Following last week's reporting from the reliable AllThingsD's John Paczkowski that Apple has planned an early March release, "sources who have been reliable in the past" tell the less reliable iMore that Apple plans a March 7 release date. We are generally very wary of this never-ending tech rumor black hole, but Jim Dalrymple over at The Loop wrote that he believes the timing, which also aligns with Paczkowski's source, who mentioned the first week in March. The date also falls on a Wednesday, which is Apple's favorite day for product announcements, giving the news cycle just the right amount of time to salivate.
Beyond timing, however, we also get some rarer, spec information -- iPad rumorers often have grandiose ideas about the revolutionary look of future Apple products. Today Lorraine Luk and Jessica Vascellaro over at the Wall Street Journal, a trusted source, are reporting that in addition to the current 9.7-inch screen offering, the company will now offer a compact, 8-ish inch version. The bigger screen will probably have higher resolution, Bloomberg reported a few weeks ago, whereas The Journal reports the smaller screen will have the same resolution as the iPad 2. Considering the tablet scene has gotten more competitive, as we noted the other day, this bit makes sense. Apple will want to compete with Amazon and Samsung's smaller and cheaper options. Luk and Vascellaro add, "It would also begin to emulate the strategy it took for its iPod music player, which it released in a number of shapes and sizes over time."
Perhaps even more exciting than sharper screen resolution, the newest iPad will reportedly run on AT&T and Verizon's 4G LTE network, report The Wall Street Journal's Spencer Ante and Jessica Vascellaro, confirmed information Bloomberg sourced last month. Again, this not only comes from the trusty Journal, but running the iPad, which uses lots and lots of data, on this more powerful network would give it a nice utility boost. "4G networks are expected to generate even greater amounts of traffic, as their faster speeds will let users watch entire movies over wireless networks instead of short clips," write Ante and Vascellaro.
Our reliable journalists haven't taken all the fun out of speculating, however. We can still wonder all we want about design and cost and inside parts for the next three weeks.