Rumours surrounding the iPad 3's expected features and release date are once again doing the rounds. This time Apple rumour mongers get a new lease with an alleged casing photo leak.

What to Expect and What not to Expect?

The photo clearly depicts the back-housing of the next iPad (presumably the iPad 3 or iPad HD). The image is courtesy of Repair Labs Blog, which states the back-housing on iPad 3 will be similar to the one on previous model.

Though, expect a larger battery, slightly revamped logic board, new cameras, and a different screen. The rumour mills so far have been consistent with the leaked images, which give us a semblance of hope and belief on what to expect from the most-awaited gadget this year.

Sources close to Apple have already hinted that the new iPad will go dynamic with double resolution Retina display (a whopping 2048 x 1536 pixels), while the device probably will resemble its predecessor in looks. However, expect the new tablet to be a millimetre thicker in comparison overall.

Also on the cards is the A6 CPU and the iPad 3 is expected to flaunt a significantly powerful GPU, which is consistent with our expectations. But the big surprise is that the A6 will not feature a quad-core chip and instead will retain dual-core from the original configuration.

Previous stories about the iPad 3 featuring a quad-core processor and an LTE capability onboard clearly seem inaccurate for a couple of valid reasons. Primarily, a quad-core redesign would incur additional costs and time that could further delay the release of the most-anticipated tablet.

As for 4G LTE connectivity, Qualcomm's chipset will see the light of day only in the second or third quarter of 2012, which in effect could delay Apple's iPad 3 if it's adopted.

As far as the release date goes, a February announcement is unlikely. So, what is the catch? Consider last year's iPad 2 release in early March that bided some time in finding resellers before hitting the stores and it is likely that Apple would repeat a similar feat this year.

Release Dates Quagmire

Besides, Apple has a policy of following upgrades and releases promptly on a periodic basis.

There is one key point to note. This year February falls into a leap year with 29 days, and the 29th falls on a Wednesday (the day on which Apple has announced every other iPad). The iPad 2 was announced on March 2, 2011, and made available the following Friday (March 11th).

So, expect history repeating itself. Especially as far as Apple's releases are concerned, there is always a pattern and you know what to expect.

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