Apple Preps iPad 3 for 2012 Launch


Building a wider screen for its tablet computer that could work well with apps from pay-TV providers, Apple (NAS: AAPL) may launch the iPad 3 in 2012.

The iPad 3 will feature a 9.7-inch screen and a high-resolution display that can show 2,048 by 1,536 lines of resolution, compared with 1,024 by 768 in the iPad 2, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Several pay-TV providers have built apps for the iPad that allow subscribers to use the devices as a remote control and to display video on the tablets, including Comcast, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, AT&T, DISH Network, and DirecTV.

While cable and satellite companies continue to push programmers for additional rights that would allow them to distribute live video to subscribers on the iPad and other mobile devices, no provider is selling or leasing tablets directly to subscribers.

Apple could face more competition in the mobile space from manufacturers that could team up with distributors to lease tablets to subscribers, similar to the model used for cable set-tops and modems. France's Technicolor has been pitching to U.S. cable MSOs MediaTouch tablets and software that could be used to distribute multiplatform video.

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