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iPad 3 rumor rollup for the week of Jan. 26

Follow the Apple iPad 3 launch live with our liveblog from the event: Live: Apple iPad 3 launch.

As the faithful gathered in San Francisco this week for Macworld|iWorld, their faith seemed rewarded by a new spate of iPad 3 rumors. Follow the Apple iPad 3 launch live with our liveblog from the event: Live: Apple iPad 3 launch.

This week, how iPad 3 is being debased by spamming scammers; the traditional, predictable Spring iPad Surprise; 11ac Wi-Fi coming to your iDevice soon; and why people can't shut up about Siri.

You read it here second.

New iPad review

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"We also believe that the iPad 3 will include Siri because of other rumors floating around about the iPad 3. More and more rumors are appearing that are painting the iPad 3 to be less then revolutionary. If this is in fact the case then Apple may need to push Siri as part of the upgrade."

~ iPad-3-News.com, brazenly demonstrating that a news Website can indeed be based entirely on rumor.

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iPad 3 causes spamming scamming surge

This actually is not a rumor, so it's The Rollup's public service announcement. Symantec blogger Sean Butler reports on an email scam that presents itself as an email from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, notifying the recipient that they've won a free iPad 3.

We have to admit it's a good hook. The email explains that Facebook and Apple are partnering to offer a group of randomly selected folks from Facebook's vast user data the Magical iPad 3. "It is possible that a user could potentially be deceived by this ruse if they receive this email to the email address they have used to register with Facebook," Butler says. To participate, all you have to do is fill out an online form, and confirm your email address, and some other personal information. What could be fairer than that?

To the attentive end user, not blinded by the promise of a free iPad 3, there are clues that there is less, or more, to the offer than meets the eye. "Even though this email was targeting a Symantec customer, our advanced monitoring systems were able to identify this scam," writes Butler. "Upon investigating this email further, it is easy to ascertain that it is a scam email due to the poor grammar used in the email and the fact that there is a spelling mistake within the email itself."

Bad grammar is evidence of bad intentions, or maybe the pitfalls of Google Translate. Here's a screenshot of one sample of the Zuckerberg Scam. 

iPad 3 will arrive in March-April period. Unless....

We know this because it's traditional. "Every iPad thus far has been released in the March-April timeframe, giving reason to expect the same from the iPad 3 in 2012," intones BeatWeek's Bill Palmer

Every iPad thus far released. That would be all two of them: the first iPad, in April 2010, and iPad 2, in March 2011. It's a tradition. Like going to see cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. during the spring, or perhaps to watch Mrs. Obama plant her organic White House garden. "Despite all its secrecy, Apple has a predictable habit of preferring to update its mobile products in predictable 12-month intervals." Apple is secretive but predictable.

But there's a "but" here, or actually an "unless:" "unless Apple hits a snag and decides to get creative," Palmer adds.

One doesn't know quite what to make of the picture of Apple as a "traditional" company that needs to hit snags in order to get creative. But that's a quibble.

What snags? "[T]here's unsubstantiated talk that one component or another (a higher resolution screen being the most name-checked culprit) not being available in quantity in time for the device's intended March introduction," Palmer writes. If that happens, oh let it not be so, "Apple has a couple of options," Palmer reveals.

He then goes into the traditional, predictable, mind-numbingly painstaking Beatweek explication of the options. Apple could simply do this. Or that. But if it does, it has two more scenarios, which presumably are different from options.

All of which amounts to saying that if Apple doesn't release the iPad 3 in March-April, it will release it, you know, later.

One step Apple could take if iPad 3 is delayed, Palmer claims, is "to release an 'iPad 2S' which would retain the same external design as the iPad 2 but would include several of the intended iPad 3 internal specs." This is only plausible if, like Palmer, you believe without any evidence that Apple was intending to release a kickass true iPhone 5 in 2011, but something unnamed went wrong, so Apple rushed to create the iPhone 4S as filler.

But for now, he's optimistic. "Apple's consistent pattern of spring iPad launches continues to deserve the benefit of the doubt," he writes. Traditional. Predictable. Magical.

iPad 3 will have 802.11ac "Gigabit Wi-Fi"

This rumor is nurtured by the mentality that believes "if a thing is cool, Apple will include it with the iPad or the iPhone or both."

The headline for Sean Fallon's post at KnowYourCell.com is "Apple may support 802.11ac 5G Gigabit Wi-Fi on the iPhone 5 and iPad 3."

Fallon's not just making this up. "A new report suggests that Apple is working to bring 802.11ac Wi-Fi spec to upcoming devices - maybe even the iPhone 5 and iPad 3," he reveals. This would be wonderful news indeed. If it was actually news.

The report Fallon cites is a thorough but modest account of Apple's aggressive embrace of Wi-Fi over the years, written by AppleInsider's Daniel Eran Dilger. His headline: "Apple working to adopt 802.11ac 5G Gigabit WiFi this year."

Dilger unnecessarily weakens the opening of history by relying on passive verb tense: "Apple is expected to rapidly deploy support for the new 802.11ac specification this year...." He apparently means "I expect Apple to rapidly deploy support" for the pending IEEE standard. And based on Apple's history, there's good reason to think that.

Dilger expects it to be deployed in new AirPort base stations, Time Capsule (Apple's wireless network storage product), Apple TV, notebooks "and potentially its mobile devices." That's his only reference to mobile and he doesn't mention iPad 3 or iPhone 5. He makes a good case for Apple's rapid adoption of advanced Wi-Fi features, including the quiet introduction of three transmit/receive antennas on some of the new Macs incorporating the Thunderbolt I/O interface. The extra antennas can support three spatial streams when communicating to a comparable access point, boosting the data rate to 450Mbps.

Dilger doesn't address the considerable space and resource constraints, including power drain, in trying to enable the next tablet and phone to support three spatial streams. And Fallon seems unaware that there are any.

We could see some "Gigabit Wi-Fi products" as early as mid-2012, and certainly by year-end [see "CES: Gigabit Wi-Fi takes center stage"]. Vendors we've talked with don't expect enterprise-grade 11ac gear until first half of 2013. Initially, the products will be infrastructure equipment, and dongles for laptops. Integrated, power-efficient 11ac chipsets, the kind needed by battery-powered mobile devices will probably take longer.

But one can still hope, of course, however irrationally. "Surely Apple will support the new spec on mobile devices down the line, but here's hoping that it will make an appearance early on the iPhone 5 and/or iPad 3," Fallon enthused.

iPad 3 will feature Siri

As diligent readers of The Rollup know, this is not a new rumor. But you wouldn't know that from a site called iPad3News, which daringly and explicitly bases its news reports on rumors. That would be a contradiction in terms everywhere reason reigns but not in the parallel universe known as The iOSsphere.

"There are many rumors that the iPad 3 may in fact include Siri and there are a few reasons that we also think that it will be included," according an anonymous post at iPad-3-News.com. The main reason is the previously well-covered discovery, a few weeks ago, of cryptic references to Siri in the latest beta code of the upcoming iOS 5 firmware.

But there's more. "We also believe that the iPad 3 will include Siri because of other rumors floating around about the iPad 3. More and more rumors are appearing that are painting the iPad 3 to be less then revolutionary. If this is in fact the case the Apple may need to push Siri as part of the upgrade."

There are many rumors about the iPad 3 including Siri and we have our reasons for thinking so, reasons which are based on rumors.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.


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