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For a short while, details of Apple’s third tablet device made fairly frequent headlines but has now taken something of a backseat. For a while, it was though that the device, unofficially dubbed the iPad 3, would hit the market sometime this Fall, but that notion was later quashed due to LCD display production issues, and the device is now expected in early 2012.

Since we heard of the delay, there hasn’t been much to report on the third edition of Apple’s market-leading device. But there have been some recent advances, and according to a report from the Taiwan Economic News, the Cupertino company has secured deals with Simplo Technology Co. and Dynapack Int’l Technology Corp to supply battery packs for the device.

So, what does this mean for the iPad 3? Well according to the report, the newer batteries will be thinner and lighter than the modules currently used to power the iPad 2, and at the same time will boast a longer service life. For Apple, the price of the batteries will increase by up to a third, but one of the fruit company’s key philosophies throughout its iDevice range is to make the next product thinner and lighter than its predecessor whilst maintaining / improving components. This appears to be the case here, and opens the door for the iPad 3 to be even thinner than the iPad 2, which in itself is only one third of an inch in depth.

As well as the thinner and lighter motif, Apple could be – and hopefully is – looking to conserve space for a much improved Retina Display, which seems a must considering that the iPad 2 arrived after we’d already become keenly acquainted with the wonderfully crisp iPhone 4 Retina display. Although the iPad 2 was a good improvement on the first device, one suspects that had Apple waited for a release alongside the iPhone 5 and fitted it with a Retina Display, it would have been met with even greater acclaim than it did indeed command amongst the review sites.

What would you, our readers like to see when Apple brings forth the iPad 3? Does the Retina Display top your bill, or are you more concerned with processor speed or storage space? Leave your thoughts on our Facebook fanpage!

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