An Apple iPad with the enigmatic “iPad3,6” designation was recently discovered by a developer in his app analytics log.
According to AppleInsider, the purported device boasts an ARMv7 processor, the same architecture used in Apple’s A6 SoC currently powering the iPhone 5.
As MacRumors notes, the unique “iPad3,6” designation likely points to a new version of the current 9.7-inch iPad, which carries the “iPad3,1,” “iPad3,2” and “iPad3,3” naming scheme for existing iterations of the device, rather than the oft-rumored “iPad Mini.”
Nevertheless, a separate report in August found a pair of iPads in a developer’s access logs with “iPad2,5” and “iPad2,6,” designations – both of which are believed to be the identifiers of Apple’s 7.85-inch iPad mini.
“The unknown ‘iPad3,6’ designation could be a slightly tweaked third-generation iPad with Lightning connector support, possibly meant to bring parity to the full-sized tablet’s charging system and Apple’s recently-released iPhone 5 and upcoming iPod products,” speculated AppleInsider.
“While not entirely out of the realm of possibility, the iPad mini is not expected to use an A6-based chip and is thought to instead leverage a variant of Apple’s A5 series found in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. The small form factor tablet is widely believed to carry a non-Retina display, meaning it won’t require the same processing power as the third-generation iPad, which itself uses a modified A5 chip.”
It should be noted that Cupertino has yet to confirm or deny the existence of an iPad Mini, so official specs are obviously non-existent. Nevertheless, reports from at least several analysts indicate the device will be equipped with a screen measuring 7.85 inches diagonally – which is significantly smaller than the 9.7-inch display found on all iPad models to date.
Additional features are believed to include a smaller bezel around the screen, at least one camera, the new Lightning connector and Apple’s indigenously designed A5X processor.
According to analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets, the iPad Mini will be priced in the $250-$300 range, which should enable the device to effectively compete with Amazon’s Kindle lineup and Google’s Nexus 7. If successful, Apple could theoretically corner the medium-range tablet market, while simultaneously dominating the higher-end tablet space.