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We’re getting awfully close to that time of the year whereby Apple upgrades it iPad device, and with rumors aplenty, the buzz around the supposedly Retina-packing third installment continues to grow.

New details have emerged courtesy of iLounge‘s Jeremy Horwitz, who has been tweeting fresh info of what could be in store when the third iteration of the world’s favorite tablet does finally surface which, if true, make for a very exciting prospect.

The next-gen device, which we’ll presume to be called the iPad 3, is purported to be packing much more of a punch on the camera front – bringing it up to speed with those iPhone cameras popular on sites such as Flickr. The iPad 2 arrived in a blaze of glory last March, and despite a decent tech spec, both front and back cameras were pretty shoddy – especially when users had been used to the crisp 5 megapixel snapper of the iPhone 4.

That may all be about to change though, with the front camera of the next model set to be capable of HD for FaceTime calls, and the main camera technically identical to either the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S. There has been talk of Apple prototyping next-gen iPads with the 8-megapixel camera of the 4S, but it’s always key to take speculation with a pinch of salt until something concrete arrives.

According to Horwitz, the price point of the iPad 2 will fall down to $399, which will in turn be a huge bargain for buyers:

Looks likely that iPad 2 will stick around at lower price point, say $399, and next iPad with high-def screen + cameras will sit atop it.

Citing those clichéd sources familiar, Horwitz also stated the device will be a rather minor millimeter thicker than its would-be predecessor to make room for the hardware improvements, but the design will remain largely similar to the iPad 2:

“Curve radiuses on the body will change only a little to accommodate the added thickness, not dramatically. Think iPad 2 Pro, not a redesign.”

As for the release date, the sources suggest the new model will hit shelves around a year after the iPad 2, so March or thereabouts.

The notion of two iPads dropping has been toyed with frequently over the past couple of months, but it does appear as though Tim Cook’s company will follow a similar structure to its smartphone division – selling the previous model as the ‘entry level’ under-study to the new release – just how the iPhone 4 currently deputizes for the iPhone 4S.

(via iLounge)

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