For those of you hoping for a quad-core processor in the iPad 3, don’t hold your breath. The next-generation Apple iPad will come with the A5X 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, and 4G LTE, according to my sources.
As 9to5Mac reported, Apple has been working on two chips, the A5X, and the quad-core A6. But instead of developing both and using one, I can confirm that Apple will use both. In a major shift from the two previous generations of devices (iPad 1/2, iPhone 4/4S), Apple will have two different setups for the iPad and iPhone lines. The next iPad will carry the A5X chip, first shown on the Chinese site WeiPhone ( via MacRumors), while the next iPhone will come with the A6.
The A5X is being used in place of the widely expected A6 processor, which Apple has not completely finished yet. My source states that the quad-core A6 will be ready in time for the next iPhone in the fall.
According to my source, the A6 drained battery at a much faster rate than the A5X, a major part of the reasoning behind choosing the dual-core processor. With the A5X, the next iPad will face a similar drop in battery life comparative to the drop between iPhone 4 and 4S. With the jump in screen resolution, inclusion of LTE, and a major increase in graphics performance, Apple did not want to sacrifice any more battery life — something that the A6 would have forced them to do, if implemented before it was ready.
Apple is expected to announce the next iPad on March 7th, with a release date of March 16th.