Apple, and/or Samsung, to launch Retina tablet in February: rumors


Yesterday, a pair of curious rumors popped up over at Techmeme about next year’s tablet market. In the first corner is an tidbit from Business Insider, which says that Apple will release the iPad 3, with a display that has “double the resolution” of the iPad 2, in February. This information comes from Citi analyst Richard Gardner, who cites “several source.”

The next nugget of unsubstantiated info comes via BGR, which claims that Samsung will release a new, 11.6-inch version of the Galaxy Tab that has a 2560×1600 resolution — i.e. double the resolution of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and more than double that of the iPad 2 — also in February, at Mobile World Congress.

Now, it’s entirely possible that both of these rumors are at least partially true. The next obvious step in the evolution of the iPad line is to give it a screen that looks as good as that of the iPhone 4/4S. And, given that Samsung makes it glaringly obvious that it has Apple firmly in its sights, doing the same for the Galaxy Tab also makes sense. The real question then is, which one will debut in February?

Our guess: Samsung. Apple is by far the tablet market leader, which means Samsung benefits most from getting out ahead of Apple and beating it to market with its next-gen tablet. Given that Apple has traditionally released the new iPad in March, this would give Samsung at least a little bit of unadulterated time to win over customers before Apple comes and ruins the party for everyone, again.

Another reason the Samsung rumor rings more true is that it accompanied by far more details. Whereas the BI piece simply says the next iPad will have better resolution — a prediction nearly anyone could make with at least some confidence — BGR’s report tells us that the 11.6-inch Galaxy Tab will have roughly the same overall size as the 10.1-inch version, but with a significantly smaller bezel, and pack a 2GHz dual-core Exynos 5250 processor.

Then again, none of this could be true. But given that both Samsung and Apple will release new tablets next year, in February or otherwise, and that the new tablets will likely have better screens that this year’s models, neither rumor is much of a stretch. We’ll just have to wait until February to find out which one is true.

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