It’s no real secret that the iPad 3 will hit tomorrow. Which, if you weren’t paying attention means that you can get an iPad 2 for the next few days for a few bucks off. And for a lot of people, that might be all the iPad they need for the near future.
However, if you are jonesing for the latest gear, here is what you will see tomorrow:
A new iPad with an upgraded processor and longer battery life. Also, expect it to have the new smaller connector that will be showing up in the iPhone 4GS or iPhone 5 this summer.
The same prices for the same specs as we saw for the first two generations of iPad.
iOS 5.1, which should include some expanded management features for iCloud, including full control of the PhotoStream.
A new AppleTV or some goodies and an update for the existing AppleTV. But the smart money is on “new”.
Those three items are pretty much a gien. What you might also see tomorrow is Siri in the new iPad – but that is a serious maybe. What you probably won’t see is 4G support for the iPad. Apple has no need to get into the 4G game at this point. The network optimization features in iOS 5 mean that 3G download speeds are close enough to 4G to make the difference imperceptible, and until someone figures out a way to make 4G networking less of a battery suck, Apple will gladly trade off that imperceptible difference for all-week battery life.
That, of course, is a trade-off that every clear-thinking person on the planet will happily take. So you know that the internet whiners and haters will be complaining about it in droves, and saying that this will kill the iPad.
It’s also worth mentioning that you definitely won’t see a smaller iPad. 7 inch tables are stupid in the extreme – too small to be a decent tablet, too big to put in your pocket, too sucky on the battery front to be useful, and too expensive to make people seriously consider them despite the wretched limitations. Companies tossing out tiny tablets are just playing the desperation game.