Apple rumored to refresh iPad hardware and internals next week

ipad-3-concept-mainApple’s upcoming announcement on October 23 has spawned a nauseating amount of rumors teasing which products will be unveiled and others that will simply be repackaged with improved internals.

Apple October 23 News, Rumors, and Launch Announcements

Unless you’ve been avoiding the rumor onslaught — and who could blame you? — the iPad Mini is the new device everyone expects to be announced next week. But in light of recent evidence provided by 9to5 Mac‘s sources, it seems Apple will be refreshing its full-sized iPad line at the same time. This refresh won’t be considered a true successor to the current iPad, but more of a 4S-style upgrade.

Allegedly confirming previous rumors about an iPad refresh, the sources say the new iPad will keep the same price scheme ($500, $600, and $700 for WiFi-only) at the same respective storage sizes (16GB, 32GB, 64GB). It’s also suspected the new iPad will incorporate the Lightning connector that debuted on the iPhone 5 and Apple’s newest iPods. Global support for LTE may be tossed in for good measure as well, and (if the rumor is true) Apple may decide to bump up other specs like processor speed or battery. The supposed proof is in a list of leaked barcodes, half referring to the current iPad generation and the other half to an updated line.

iPad 3 Barcode List

Whispers of an iPad refresh began back in early October, when MacRumors posted that a developer had found evidence of a device called the “iPad3,6” that targets the new ARMv7s architecture used in the custom A6 chip. This older rumor combined with the newer one above seems to point to a new and improved iPad with a beefed up processor and Lightning connector.

If the rumor ends up coming true, it could be a deadly blow for Microsoft, which has its own Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 announcements scheduled around the same time as Apple. Looking to previous iPad reveals, it’s fair to assume the refreshed tablet would spread like wildfire as consumers gear up for the holiday season. But as with every rumor, we have to look at this one with the appropriate amount of skepticism. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Apple will undoubtedly make a killing if it unleashes an iPad Mini and a new iPad right before the holidays. 

Do you think there’s any truth to this rumor or is the evidence too much of a stretch to be considered fact?