When Tim Cook takes the stage tomorrow in San Francisco, a new iPad apparently won't be the only product announced. As we reported last week, a new Apple TV model is expected to arrive alongside the higher-resolution iPad update. We're told that the forthcoming Apple TV (the product is said to likely carry the same name as its predecessor) will have 1080p capabilities, and will work in conjunction with the iPad and other Apple devices to deliver new video streaming / mirroring functionality (which will also fall inline with new Mountain Lion features).
According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple will update both the new Apple TV and the iPad 3 (or iPad HD, a name we first unearthed last year) not with the rumored, quad-core A6 system-on-a-chip, but rather the A5X, a dual-core SoC said to have a more powerful GPU. From what we're hearing, it's basically an A5 on steroids.
Our source was adamant that neither of the new products would be receiving the next generation chip — rather, that Apple seems to be waiting for the launch of the iPhone 5 to introduce the rumored A6.
Our sources say that there's no question the new iPad will tout that 2048 x 1536 Retina Display, but we're also told that along with the A5X, the device will have more RAM than its predecessor, and come in a variety of LTE flavors. There have been rumors flying that the iPad 3 would be LTE capable, and we're told that it will definitely be announced for both the Verizon and AT&T networks tomorrow. To be clear, that would mean two distinct, separate versions of the LTE tablet (one for each network). In addition, there's a third international model which does double duty on 3G; a CDMA / GSM model using a similar radio chipset to the iPhone 4S (a Qualcomm Gobi chip). That's a little odd considering LTE chipsets from Qualcomm can be utilized on those same bands, but there may be reasons (cost for instance) that Apple would want to separate the hardware.
There seem to be some rumblings that just as we were told last year, the iPad HD / iPad 3 could sit on store shelves in addition to the iPad 2, which might receive a price cut. Whether or not that will happen seems less clear than the other information we're hearing.
We'll be on the ground covering Apple's event live tomorrow, so no matter what happens, you'll hear the news from us first. If you're just getting up to speed on the iPad 3 news, check out all the rumors and leaks in our iPad 3 StoryStream.