Reports Suggest iPad3 Price Hike, Enhanced Processors
February 28, 2012

Reports Suggest iPad3 Price Hike, Enhanced Processors

Speculation about the timing and pricing of Apple´s iPad 3 is heating up following reports that the latest version of the tablet device could be unveiled early next month, and will include a price hike.

A MacRumors report on Monday cited a pricing sheet appearing on the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, which listed prices for the iPad 3 at $80 and $70 more per model than their iPad 2 predecessors.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Monday that it had uncovered evidence that Apple will unveil its iPad 3 during a media event on March 7, and noted that some of Apple´s big-box retail partners are dropping prices on the iPad 2 to help clear inventory for the arrival of the iPad 3.

The lowest-cost iPad 2 is now at Best Buy, which is selling the tablet device for $450, according to the report.

“The timing of Best Buy´s sale may be yet another indication that the world´s most valuable company is getting ready to announce the iPad 3,” said VentureBeat´s Tom Cheredar.

A separate report on Monday by the Web site 9to5Mac provides evidence that Apple is working on both an enhanced A5X dual-core chip and the rumored quad-core A6 chip.

The report cited a purported picture of an iPad 3 logic board that appeared late last week that showed both the A5X and A6 processors.  They also pointed to Apple´s iOS device processor-naming scheme as further evidence that both chips are in development.

“Deep in the iOS 5.1 betas sits references to two next-generation iOS device chips: the previously discussed S5L8945X and this new S5L8950X,” the report read, referring to the A5X chip (an enhanced version of Apple´s A5 processor) and the new A6 chip.

“While nobody found the 50X (A6) chip in the code until now, we can report that both next-generation processors entered the iOS code simultaneously. This would seem to indicate Apple is working on two next-generation chips.”

The report suggested a few possible reasons Apple might include both next-generation processors in the new iOS code.  The company might be developing both chips simultaneously to see which would better fit the new iPad, or perhaps the quad-core A6 is intended for the iPad 3, while the A5X will be used in a different iOS device, such as the next-generation iPhone or the rumored Apple TV update.

“In any case, the evidence that Apple is working on two next-generation chips, an enhanced A5, and a completely new chip, is here,” the report read.


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