Report: Apple's iPad 3 to support LTE

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) next version of its iPad tablet will support LTE networks and arrive in March, according to a Bloomberg report. An LTE version of the iPad would be Apple's first LTE product.

The report, which cited three unnamed sources familiar with the device, said that Apple will deliver an LTE iPad before an LTE iPhone because the tablet's larger battery can more easily handle LTE's power requirements. Given the release timeframe mentioned in the report, it's likely that Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) will remain Apple's U.S. carrier partners--at least for now. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which started selling the iPhone in October, is not expected to launch LTE service until mid-year. 

An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report also said that the next iPad will support a higher resolution screen than the iPad 2 and will run on a quad-core processor. Mass production of the iPad 3 started this month in China and will break for the Chinese Lunar New Year this month before ramping up to a peak in February.

The higher resolution screen, plus the inclusion of LTE, are steps Apple is taking to keep the iPad competitive with other devices such as LTE tablets from Samsung and Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI). Apple, which reports its quarterly earnings Jan. 24, sold 25 million iPads through the first three quarters of 2011.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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