New iPad rumors: LTE versions, March 7 announcement event

by Phil Hornshaw

Hot on the heels of a rumor that Apple was planning to announce the latest iPhone in the early part of next month come a few more possible tidbits of information, including something new about potential versions of Apple’s popular tablet.

The latest rumor comes by way of the Wall Street Journal. According to the newspaper’s latest story, citing unnamed sources, both AT&T and Verizon will sell a version of the next iPad that supports their growing 4G LTE networks. An LTE-supporting iPad will support a faster data connection than 3G on the two carriers’ new networks, but not every carrier has the network support to accommodate the tablet.

Meanwhile, there’s now a rumored date for the announcement event that will trigger the shift to the next version of Apple’s iconic tablet. A report from iMore suggests that March 7 is the date for Apple’s next big event, citing “sources who have been reliable in the past.” That fits with AllThingsD’s report from last week that early March would see the iPad announcement, which is almost exactly a year from Apple’s announcement of the iPad 2 back in 2011. If that date holds true, the next iPad probably will be on sale about a week after the announcement: perhaps roughly March 16.

Other than the date and the possibility of LTE support for the next iPad, there have also been a few conflicting rumors circulating as well. We heard from The Verge last week that a quad core processor for the next iPad wasn’t on the cards, but other reports suggest that a new quad-core chip could find its way into Apple’s new tablet. That would be a step up from the iPad 2, which includes a dual-core processor in the A5 chip. The next chip, likely called the A6, would double the power of its predecessor.

As with all Apple rumors though, these reports are just that: rumors. We won’t know the real story until Apple finally puts Tim Cook and company on a stage and gives us the real skinny. Until that happens, we’ll be waiting for more information, but it seems likely that we should be getting an official date for an Apple announcement any day now.