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Monday, March 05, 2012, 03:58 pm PT (06:58 pm ET)

Reports claim Apple's third-gen tablet to be named 'iPad HD'

Apple is said to be stepping away from its usual numerical naming convention in favor of the more descriptive 'iPad HD' when it unveils the expected next generation tablet on Wednesday.

Citing inside information from a developer who has previously provided "reliable information" on upcoming Apple products, CNET claims that the much rumored device will not take on the "iPad 3" moniker as many have speculated, but will instead be called "iPad HD" to highlight the most prominent and talked-about feature of the upcoming tablet: a high resolution "Retina Display."

A corroborating report from VentureBeat claims that Apple will indeed depart from its traditional naming scheme, and notes that the "HD" title is further proof that the tablet will not ship with a new A6 processor but will instead be equipped with a modified A5 chip, seen in a purported prototype photograph as the A5X.

Further fueling the rumors was a purportedly leaked list published by Gizmodo last week that detailed "iPad HD" products from accessory makers Griffin and Belkin.

The "HD" tag could be akin to Apple's "S" naming convention it took with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S, which marked incremental updates to the smartphone that weren't substantial enough to warrant a complete number change. For example, the iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 featured redesigned exteriors, while the respective follow-up "S" models merely boasted internal component upgrades.

Apple's next generation tablet is expected to be launched at a media event scheduled for Wednesday, and is widely thought to sport a Retina Display, thicker chassis and extended battery life, among other improvements.

Perhaps the most widely discussed feature of the new iPad is an improved screen that has reportedly been pictured and even put under the lens of a microscope in hopes of confirming a higher pixel count than existing iPad models. At a resolution of 2,048-by-1,536 pixels, the rumored display would have a pixel density which is indeed double that of the current iPad 2, and could arguably be called a Retina Display.

Retina Display

Illustration of Retina Display resolution on an iPhone 4S. | Source: Apple.com


While a higher resolution display seems to be all but confirmed, other features are under debate like LTE capability, a more powerful A6 processor and Siri voice assistant implementation.

Answers to the mountain of rumors may soon be answered as AppleInsider learned that DHL is preparing for a huge Apple shipment from China this week, possibly signaling the arrival of the next-gen iPad.