The iPad 3 will indeed come equipped with a 4G LTE chip, reports Rene Ritchie of iMore. Rumors of faster networking coming in Apple’s new tablet have been rampant in recent weeks, with the Wall Street Journal chiming in last month and CNBC’s John Fortt reporting it just last week.
The same source that originally told iMore Apple would be holding their iPad 3 event on March 7 has now let us know that the announcement will in fact include 4G LTE networking.
Adding LTE capability to the iPad 3 has been an interesting topic for discussion. Largely because the benefits of doing so appear to be relatively limited at this time. Rollout of LTE networks has been a big topic for most of the major carriers, but only Verizon has any sort of widespread coverage. AT&T plans to have a lot more this year, but its offerings are fairly anemic at the moment.
That being said, switching to a chip which has the ability to connect to CDMA, GSM/HSDPA+ and LTE networks has always been a matter of when, not if, and the iPad 3 is a good a device as any to make the switch. Putting the chip in here and making LTE a part of the iDevice feature set would likely mean that the next iPhone — which is likely to be released later this year if Apple sticks to its new fall release schedule — would also be running this chip.
Putting it in the iPad should help Apple to get its chip suppliers up to speed for the much more aggressive production volume of the iPhone and to work out any kinks.
Ritchie mentions that they are also still hearing that the new iPad will ship with a quad-core processor. This is also an addition that was in doubt due to higher battery consumption.