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New “iPad3,6” Utilizing A6-Based Chip Spotted In App Analytics, Says Developer

Now that the dust have settled in completely with regards to the release of Apple's latest and greatest handset, the iPhone 5, the tech world has now shifted its attention to the strongly rumored smaller, entry-level iPad Mini. The following weeks after the iPhone 5's announcement, there have been increased reports with regards to rumors, speculations, and even concept designs about the supposedly coming, mini iPad. Now according to a new report, a new iPad has been spotted and it is said to utilize an A6 processor, or at least a variation of that chip. To refresh your memory, it is the same chip which is used in the current-gen iPhone. More details about the spotted, new "iPad3,6" device after the jump.

Apple A6 Chip
The report came from MacRumors after receiving a word from one App Store developer who has seen evidence of an unknown "iPad3,6" device from his app analytics. Going by the name of the previously unseen device, it is safe to assume that it is an iPad model. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is that, the device's processor targets the new ARMv7s architecture, the very same architecture which supports the Apple-made A6 SoC which is present on the iPhone 5. So based on these evidence, it is easy to conclude that this new iPad device will either have the same A6 chip or a variation of Apple's custom design.
iPad mini
So could it be that this is the widely rumored Mini iPad? Well, it is really hard to say. First off, the designation which is "iPad3,6", suggests that it is another variation of the third-gen iPad. The iPad 3 has various designations namely, "iPad3,1", "iPad3,2", and "iPad3,3" for the various models differentiated by their WiFi / cellular capabilities. The more likely possibility is that this will be a tweaked iPad 3. There have been existing rumors that Apple is planning to launch a tweaked version of the current-gen iPad which will enable the company to integrate the Lightning connector. However at this point, it won't make sense for Apple to include a processor upgrade.

Another possibility is that this "iPad3,6" is a prototype model which could be a placeholder for the 2013 iPad model, which is most likely to house the A6 chip or a variation of it. Although, if it is indeed a new generation device, it would have a different designation such as "iPad4,x". In addition to that, At this point, it won't be a good idea to release a bumped-up iPad merely six months after the release of the current iPad. Aside from the fact that it would only cannibalize the sales of the current-gen iPad, such decision will not also fare well with the consumers who bought the iPad 3.

While the idea of the iPad Mini running on an A6 chip is indeed a wonderful possibility, it seems to be far-fetched at this point. There are logs reporting that "iPad2,5" and "iPad2,6" have been spotted, which is likely the 3G and Wi-Fi variants of the 7.85-inch iPad Mini. So try not to hold your breath when it comes to the iPad Mini having an A6 chip. The more likely possibility is that it will be running on a cheaper A5 chip which is a variation of that what's found in the iPad 2.

So what do you think? Is this possibly the widely-rumored iPad Mini?

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